Action plans and extra support for former Cashless Debit Card communities

The Albanese Labor Government has committed to extending existing support services and delivering a range of new initiatives in former Cashless Debit Card program communities following consultation on what those communities need.

The Government is announcing more $25 million in support for former CDC program communities. This funding will go to:

  • Up to $16 million in new funding to support new Local Service Plans for Ceduna, Bundaberg-Hervey Bay, Goldfields and East Kimberley. This funding is in addition to the $45 million committed in the October Budget for 2023-24 to support the services the Coalition had failed to fund from June 30 this year.
  • Up to $1.8 million for three Goldfields community-led initiatives from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024, to support immediate and short-term needs and service gaps.
  • Up to $7.2 million over 2022-23 to 2023-24, to deliver mobile and internet services and digital literacy support, including community education and awareness, in regional and remote Northern Territory communities.  This will help improve the limited access some communities experience in accessing government and online services.

Labor always said we would support communities with the services they need and focus on the things that work. We are getting on with the job and delivering.

New Local Service plans, outlining priorities for four of the former communities, was a commitment when we abolished the Cashless Debit Card.  And those communities of Ceduna, Bundaberg-Hervey Bay, Goldfields and East Kimberley, will be able to apply to direct the money to where they feel it will be best of use.

As part of repealing the Cashless Debit Card, the Plans are being delivered to improve community services and address social issues in the former Cashless Debit Card program locations.

A result of extensive consultation with the community, each Plan outlines the current support services available and includes the service gaps, social issues, and priority needs that have been identified.

Key priorities identified include improving service delivery, supporting economic development and participation.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the Plans are a call to action and reflect the Government’s ongoing commitment to working closely with these communities.

“We are investing in these locations by providing new funding of up to $16 million to community organisations, and funding of a further $9 million, so they can expand existing services or fund additional services to meet the immediate needs these communities have identified. This is delivering for communities as we always said we would,” Minister Rishworth said.

“The Albanese Labor Government is already doing extensive work, hand in hand with communities, to address needs identified in the Local Service Plans like improved service delivery and supporting economic participation.

“We’re delivering for these communities on things that work and that communities want as we always said we would.”

A number of key stakeholders including service providers and local councils, community organisations, the Department of Social Services, and other Government stakeholders have been involved in developing the Plans and formulating future actions to address the identified priorities.

More information and the Local Service Plans are available on the Department of Social Services website.