Paige Taylor

A remote West Australian town is pleading for an emergency contingent of police officers and paramedics in anticipation of a surge in violence when thousands of ­local residents are taken off the scrapped cashless debit card by the Albanese government as early as September.

Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders in Laverton – one of the debit card’s main trial sites in WA’s northern goldfields – have told The Australian the card has ensured children have been fed and clothed, and they fear what will happen when the scheme officially ends.

“We wanted to explain all that to the government before they took the card away because it’s the only thing in 30 years that has made any difference.”

Mr Hill has told the state Labor government that Laverton will need an influx of frontline workers to cope with the return to 100 per cent cash welfare payments.

“We are going to need more of those people; police, paramedics, hospital workers,” he said.

Wongatha elder Janice Scott – who established a residents group in Laverton in 2016 out of concern for the welfare of local children – said the cashless debit card was ­not perfect but it had made a difference in Laverton.

“The biggest difference was for the kids. Suddenly they had food, they had clothing,” she said. “People used to throw rocks on my roof in the middle of the night saying ‘I’m hungry’ and that stopped. They had food at home.”

(Dalgarno Institute Comments – Some of membership in the N.T. are already expressing real concern, as some indigenous kids are fearful of being picked up by their drunken parents after school, creating a fresh wave of anxiety and distress for these kids. If #childrenand #mentalhealthmatters in the #community then these ‘ideologically’ driven thoughtless measures need a quick an thorough rethink)  

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