It introduced its reform to the lower house on Wednesday, which would result in the card being abolished.
Some advocates are welcoming the move but others aren’t happy, and fear it could lead to adverse impacts on the community.
What is the cashless debit card?
Under the scheme, 80 per cent of recipient’s payments are placed on the card and cannot be used to buy alcohol, cigarettes, used for gambling, or withdraw cash.
Both schemes were introduced to help minimise harm in regional and rural communities stemming from alcohol, gambling, and drug misuse.
Why is it controversial?
“I would like to see people come off this immediately,” he told SBS News.
The company has been awarded millions of dollars in government contracts to help administer the scheme.
“It’s outsourced the responsibilities of our social security system,” he said.
Why are some supportive of it?
But Mr Patterson said that aspect shows the card has not been working, and there are already reports of an increase in incidents in some regions.
Northern Territory Country Liberal Senator Jacinta Nampijimpa Price is a supporter of the scheme. Source: SBS News
“There is a lot more under-handed crime that is going on and exploitation,” he said.
“I have seen for myself and spoken to individuals who have been able to get their life in order and are in a much better position as a result,” she said.
What is the government doing?
The government says a separate income management program run by Centrelink – which is currently being used in 12 locations – will be assessed later.
What has been the response?
“When many of your family members have an issue with alcohol, substance abuse, gambling, and they want access to your income, the cashless debit card is a tool to prevent them getting access to your income,” she said.
“The interest needs to be on the wraparound services that are there,” he said.