­čôŹConcerning Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Continuation of Cashless Welfare) Bill 2020

This bill should never have been tabled in an Australian parliament.

This bill is dangerous, contradictory and so wide open to abuse we consider it a wilful and a criminal dereliction of governments duty that throws out the oath of office and any comprehension of governments duty of care.

If this bill is is passed, it will have established once and for all, a dedicated pogrom of state enforced socio-economic apartheid, and will have created a new and depreciating human rights standard in Australia.

While the impacts of this bill will be experienced first and hardest by the 12,670 current forced 'participants' and those 22,000 Territorian's targeted directly in this bill; if taken to its full extent and applied nationally as is the stated goal of the current government, it will completely alter what it means to be an Australian citizen, for over five million people and their children.

Several articles and changes being made within this bill remove cultural, civil, criminal, privacy and legal rights for forced participants without any evidence based cause or justification and without evidence of incapacity or dereliction.

These changes come with provisions that mean they cannot be disallowed or rescinded.An entire class of people, all centrelink recipients, in this bill, are being incrementally and methodically segregated from the rest of the Australian community by the Morrison government.  Their legal rights are being removed, their right to appeal is being interfered with and curtailed and the legislative and legal accountability of the minister is being  minimised at the same time parliamentary oversight of this legislation is being eviscerated.

This bill seeks to impose a permanent, new, unaccountable and unqualified judiciary upon Australian taxpaying citizens.

This bill changes the very nature of what Social Security entitlements are, how they function, and does so without disclosing critical realities of the form and function of those changes - including changes being made to existing legal frameworks; the removal of legal and social protections and ownership of payments. It entrenches the permanent and ideologically motivated reinterpretation of Human Rights legislation without scrutiny, debate or vote on the same. This bill places social security recipients forced onto this pogrom, permanently outside of the protection of law. For recipients on DSP and many Carers, this means a lifetime spent unable to assert human rights or to access any legal recourse for losses experienced as a result of being forced to participate this program.

With the formal addition of the Age Pension in this bill and inserted as it is into the primary legislation itself without caveat, any statements made in the Memorandum of Understanding qualifying its inclusion or limitations of its inclusion to any one area or any other specification, remain legally meaningless as they do not carry over into the legislation itself where the age pension is clearly listed as a restrictable payment under the Act.

This bill empowers the minister to a god-like status both over the defining and implementation of legislation perimeters and in their control over the lives of forced participants.

This bill removes almost all parliamentary oversight through the imposing of notifiable instruments and non-disallowance measures.

This bill includes the removal independent evaluation measures currently in place that the current minister has already subverted by failing to deliver in a timely fashion, the Adelaide University report due Oct 2019.

Beyond the direct impact of this bill on those forced onto this pogrom and the removal of multiple legal rights it enforces without caveat or the inclusion of additional protections, the institutionalisation and documentation of supreme powers it offers the minister, the overt lies and lies of omission contained within this bill and summary, make it one of the most starkly abusive and regressive pieces of legislation that we have ever seen bought before parliament on this or any other national issue.

Both the Memorandum of Understanding and the Human Rights Compatibility Statement intentionally mislead the Australian parliament and the Australian people of the lived reality of the Indue cashless card as it has been experienced by thousands of forced participants.

  • This bill will end Closing the Gap, except in shell or name only.
  • This bill removes statutory legal rights.
  • This bill denies and undermines the mission statements and guiding principles of every social service in Australia, including those of ACOSS and the Department of Social Services.
  • This bill absurdly and recklessly ignores key evidence of social harms and the conclusions and recommendations of every government report ever written in 13 years of forced income management policy.
  • This bill includes additions of even more restrictions, limitations and human rights breaches. It openly admits to existing multiple breaches of human rights legislation and non discrimination legislation yet attempts to justify the same in the weakest possible terms, omitting informed historical and recent Human Rights assessments by the Australian Human Rights Commission, Legal bodies  and other medial and social service sector bodies. It ignores all relevant key factors regarding control of income and evidence of harm and impacts of the policy that have been raised by over 128 KEY stakeholders in 6 senate inquiries.
  • This bill ignores the current legislative requirement for evidence based policy and the governments own requirement for procession of this legislation based on successful evaluation alone.
  • If this bill is passed, refugees, asylum seekers and state prisoners will have more access to the protections of law and human rights protections than people forced onto this program.
  • This bill is an atrocity in the making and an insult to the generations that have come before us. If it is passed, it's impacts will be very quickly and violently self evident without our description of them necessary.

Any member of parliament, of any party or political position considering voting for this bill or conceding to any measure contained within this bill, should be condemned.

The SN7 have a five year history documented in Senate, focused solely on this policy. We have submitted to every senate committee of inquiry and have provided analysis of this policy from root to tip consistently and accurately throughout the time period of its operation. 

We are warning everyone, possibly for the last time, that if you wish to retain any sense of democracy, freedom or accountability in this nation into the future, this bill must NOT pass.

­čôŹ Breakdown of individual changes. Key points:

  • Any concept of "Trial" ceases, CDC to be "a permanent program" despite no evidence of efficacy.
  • All regions extend to 2022.
  • Age pension included. MOU states caveats limiting inclusion to Cape York, these caveats are not contained/ written into the legislation itself.
  • New notifiable instrument provisions and non -dis-allowance provisions impacting all sites.
  • Payment nominees will now be included.
  • Distance Education and Bereavement payment on card.
  • Minister gains new ability to revoke Well Being and Exit exemptions.
  • One section states 50% quarantine split for trigger payments NT, 70% for restrictable payments, however three separate other sections allows minister to alter split limits at whim to 100% and/or 80%. New subsection 124PJ(1A) says FRC have power to set limits...subsection124PJ(2) omits their power to do that. 124PJ(1 and 3) says Minster can vary limits any time they like. (see below)
  • A notifiable instrument made under subsection 124PJ(2A) or 124PJ(2B) that will not be subject to disallowance will enable the Minister to either increase or decrease the restricted and unrestricted portions of payments for the entire cohort of program participants.
  • This Bill will insert a new Ministerial power to enable the making of a legislative instrument that allows the Minister to determine decision-making principles for current exit criteria without oversight.
  • Bill essentially removes ALL access to legal self defense and legal protections in the NT under HR and Intl HR law .
  • Changes to ATT/review process. Minister will now gets away with not having to explain critical decisions to the ATT when a cardholder appeals.
  • Evaluation requirements are removed. Item 114 removes the statutory requirement that an evaluation be conducted by an independent expert within 6 months of the completion of a review of the cashless welfare arrangements.
  • Gov now stating that ANY limitation on a person's right to privacy is reasonable and proportionate given the extensive social harm that exists in the program areas.
  • Items 93 and 96 of the Bill operates to limit the right to be free from self-incrimination by expressly removing the privilege against self-incrimination.
  • There are NO protections at ALL for trial participants, NO requirement to provide ANY wrap around support or services funding, no requirement for duty of care principles, no requirement to even assess well being or any other forced participant support measure in this bill.