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Single parent income-management trial

First trial towns for Healthy Welfare card announced

Is Income Management coming to your town? The answer is yes, the question is when...

By Jason Bryce | 10 July 2015




2015 welfare reforms

Family Tax Benefits are likely to be

included as income managed payments


The government has revealed the first handful of trial communities for the new Healthy Welfare income management Centrelink debit cards. The government has previously said the new income management branded Visa payment cards will be rolled out across Australia, not just in remote indigenous communities, where the Basics Card income management scheme has become the norm.

All Parenting Payment - Single or Partnered - and all Newstart recipients living in the trial areas are likely to be included in the trials, including people who have no history of alcohol, drug, gambling or budgeting problems. Family Tax Benefits are likely to be included as income managed payments.

Alan Tudge said Healthy Welfare Cards will have very limited cash withdrawals
Alan Tudge said Healthy
Welfare Cards will have very
limited cash withdrawals

Western Australian Kimberley region towns Kununurra and Halls Creek have reportedly been chosen to spearhead the new policy.

The small town of Moree in the north west of New South Wales and Ceduna on the west coast of South Australia are the other two towns that have so far been identified

Suburban areas where the Basics Card is already standard could be priority areas for the Healthy Welfare trials. They include Bankstown in Sydney, Logan and Rockhampton in Queensland, the north Adelaide suburb of Playford and Shepparton in central Victoria. However, no further announcements have been made.

Liberal MP Alan Tudge is Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Tony Abbott and has previously said regional and urban areas are in the mix for Healthy Welfare card trials.

Alan Tudge is meeting with Department of Human Services executives and community leaders around Australia to scope out trial sites.

Recently Alan Tudge said on radio that responsible parents will also be income managed, along with people who have drinking, drug or gambling problems within the trial sites.

Tudge described the new card as a Visa debit card that can be used "on anything, anywhere except alcohol or gambling." And very limited cash withdrawals.

Perhaps the good news is that Alan Tudge has also said he can't envisage the rollout of Healthy Welfare card covering all of Australia in the foreseeable future.

This week Alan Tudge visited outback South Australia for at least the second time in recent weeks, so that might indicate where other early trial sites may lie.


Jason Bryce
Business & Finance Journalist





Read more recent articles on the Healthy Welfare Card


New Centrelink Eftpos card to replace Basics Card

Single parent anger over Centrelink income management



Have your say on this story - do you think the trial of the new welfare eftpos card is fair? Make a comment below!



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Jason is a business and finance journalist with 20 years experience, and is also a member of the SingleMum.com.au Expert Opinion Panel. He has a regular weekly column in the Sunday Mail (Brisbane) and writes regularly for the Business Daily section of the Herald Sun in Melbourne and many other newspapers and magazines.

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What does it mean to be a single mum?Of course, the

kids

are the most important thing in a single mum's life. Kids are the focus and always have been. But along with the children, there are other matters that can confuse a single mum's life.

Centrelink

plays a big part of a single mother's life, mainly because this is where a large percentage of single mums get their finances from. Centrelink are the source from where the

single mother pension

, or as it is otherwise known, the single parent payment comes from. The single mother pension is a subsistence amount, but just the same, it is money to live on, and so it is important, no matter if it is called single parent payment, single mother pension or whatever Centrelink welfare classes it at the time

Often, single mums come out of a

divorce

or defacto relationship only to find that their troubles have just begun, and find that their first step leads them towards Family Law - it's time to engage a lawyer.
There are more than just Centrelink finance problems to worry about, as mentioned before, but also

child custody

issues. Child custody is something that hits right at the heart of

single mums

. If a single mother's ex husband or ex partner has been a domestic violence perpetrator, the mum may be greatly worried about child custody. They worry that their kids won't be safe with their spouse, who has already proven to be abusive because they caused

domestic violence

, which resulted in a divorce or separation.

Even so,

Family Court

will often still order a form of child custody named

Shared Parenting

. Shared Parenting is a form of child custody division of time or parental responsibility between the parents. Mother's often look for a good divorce lawyer to try to avoid share parenting with an abusive ex-spouse after divorce, however in many cases Shared Parenting is still the outcome after the divorce, no matter how good the divorce lawyers have been. They will often settle for visitation at a contact centre or access centre where fathers or mothers are supervised during child custody access.

Please remember the bigger font words,because we will use it often in our website.