Pitt: Card critic's motives exposed
FEDERAL Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt says a high-profile critic of the trial of the Cashless Debit Card in the electorate has been exposed as politically motivated.
Dr John Falzon, head of the St Vincent de Paul Society and based in the ACT, has confirmed he's seeking pre-selection to run as the Labor candidate in the federal seat of Canberra.
Earlier this month Dr Falzon spoke to the NewsMail, slamming the proposal for the a Cashless Debit Card in Hinkler, saying more constructive solutions would be to increase welfare payments and investment in regional areas.
Mr Pitt yesterday said it was only a political move.
"While local welfare organisations working on the ground in Hinkler support the CDC trial, Dr Falzon used his position as national head of St Vinnies to criticise it and now we know why," Mr Pitt said.
"It appears Dr Falzon has used his position to push the Labor line, even though it conflicts with the wishes of those working hard throughout Hinkler to support the less fortunate in our community.
"Dr Falzon wants to represent the Labor Party, which has supported the CDC trial in indigenous communities where it's already producing benefits, but won't allow the trial in Hinkler.
Mr Pitt said Labor's position on the issue meant hundreds of families would "continue the tragic cycle of welfare dependency and young children will continue to go without some of the necessities of life, including food".
"Dr Falzon's comments as head of St Vincent de Paul on the CDC trial should now be seen for what they are - a blatant attempt to win favour with the political party he seeks to represent," Mr Pitt said.
"The Bill for the trial of the cashless debit card is now before a Senate committee and I encourage crossbench senators to look beyond the politics and do what's right for vulnerable children and families in my community."
The NewsMail yesterday sought comment from Dr Falzon and was unable to contact him, with the ALP's Canberra office forwarding correspondence to him.
Earlier this month, Dr Falzon told the NewsMail the card was "disempowering and humiliating"
"You don't build people up by putting them down," he said.