We welcome the passing of Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Repeal of Cashless Debit Card and Other Measures) Bill 2022  and thank the 47th Parliament for abolishing the Cashless Debit Card (CDC) program.  This decision is a victory for political integrity, community, commonsense and compassion.

We thankfully celebrate the ending of the CDC as the culmination of close to a decades daily protest and as another landmark on the continuing struggle towards ending all compulsory income management in Australia.

Today is a New Day, and it belongs to all those forced onto the CDC program across Australia who have endured - especially to those who bravely stepped up and shared their lived experiences at great risk and expense to their and their families lives.

To those who have lost loved ones as a result of the CDC program and with our deepest respect, we honour you today. There is not compensation enough for the loss you have experienced and must continue endure. To those still experiencing the impacts of compulsory IM and of the CDC today, we hope this victory provides you renewed strength and hope that justice is not only possible,  justice is coming.

The development and roll out of the Cashless Debit Card, like its predecessor the Basics Card program, was an act of political violence. It's intentions were  rooted in an ideological imperative inconsistent with the concepts of community and equality.  In practice, it was anathema to humanity, dignity and self determination. It was brutally imposed via lies and coercion - an act of wholesale discrimination empowered through racism, classism and social ignorance..

Through our struggle for the political recognition of our fundamental human and socioeconomic rights, the reality of the cruelty and injustice of the forced income management regime that exists in Australia has now been firmly embedded in the minds and hearts of millions. A new generation of now better informed Australians exists. The price of indifference is better known and the potential consequences of ongoing social and political apathy is much closer to home.

What has occurred on our watch in CDC regions over the last seven years and across the Northern Territory over the last fifteen years, must never be permitted to occur again.

The entire compulsory income management system of punitive and racist control must be dismantled and with it, the incessant surveillance and intrusion into peoples private lives.  These next steps must be taken with deep respect and with full consideration of the grief, injury and insult these programs have caused. 

We will work to ensure that end.

The passing of the CDC repealing bill offers a hope that meaningful change of and in our systems and structures is still possible. That is no small thing. It's also evidence that despite our many differences, we can still come together and choose to make more informed, more humane decisions and choices together.

We express our enduring thanks to former senator Rachel Siewert for her humanity, decency and strength and we thank the Australian Labor Party for their fortitude and commitment. We thank the Australian Greens for their dedication over decades and thank all those independents current and former who have stood with us and joined the No Card campaign to end this necrotic program in both houses.

Lastly thank you to our team and group members past and present  and to everyone in our online and offline communities for all you have given and done over the last seven years.

Thank you for standing up, saying "NO!" and for your help making this momentous day possible.

Kathryn Wilkes  and Amanda Smith

Co-Coordinators No Cashless Debit Card Australia (NCDCA)

Founder members The Say No Seven



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