The impact of insufficient community consultation in the Kununarra CDC trial

Stream: Compulsory income management
Date: Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Time: 10.55 am – 12.35 pm


This paper draws on my lived experience of being subject to the Kununarra trial of the Cashless Debit Card. It highlights two key issues. First, it challenges government claims regarding community consultation and CDC trials being driven by the community. In Kununarra, only a limited and privileged group of people were consulted and the trial was and remains contested. There was a lack of transparency about who was consulted and who they represented. Moreover, those who were going to be subject to the trial were not fully informed of what this meant for them.

Second, the paper briefly highlights the negative impacts of rushing out a policy with poor consultation. It offers examples of how the CDC fails to account for the real, everyday experiences of benefit recipients and indigenous Australians.


Beverley Walley (Presenter), Ballardong Noongar woman
Beverley Walley is a Ballardong Noongar woman from a small wheat belt town of Goomalling, just out from Perth WA. Having previously worked with Aboriginal Legal Services, Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Department of Community Welfare, Department of Social Services, Aboriginal Medical Services, Education Training Services (Lesson Attendance and as a School Based Attendance Officer and Aboriginal Islander Education Officer, she is now retired and Chairperson/Community Advisor for the Ord Valley Aboriginal Health Services (OVAHS) in Kununurra WA. She has been heavily involved in advocacy for those subject to the Cashless Debit Card.