Batch 1 of Submissions released
Today it appears that the first batch of submissions for the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card) Bill 2017 to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs have been publicly released.
What is the inquiry about? It’s basically a review of the proposed legislative amendment, and gives all the stakeholders a chance to make their positions heard. As it’s in regards to a legislative amendment only, there is no terms of reference for this inquiry – the submission is solely about the proposed amendment – and the impact that it will have if implemented. This particular amendment is rather simple, but also very far reaching. It’s probably easiest to reuse a picture I threw up on facebook over a month ago, which visually shows what the amendment does.
So as you can see… it is a pretty simple amendment . But it will have some far-reaching effects if it is passed, as there will no longer be an overall duration and ending to current and new ‘trials’. Nor will there be a cap on the number of trial sites or number of participants. The Minister for Social Services, Alan Tudge, justifies this as needed to extend and expand the trials… but wouldn’t he have simply amend the limits if that was truly the case? However, that’s not the focus of this post.
So, submissions for the Senate Inquiry closed last Friday (29th September), and yesterday 20 of the submissions were publicly released. As I have been following this saga from day I heard that my electorate had been proposed as a site, I lodged a submission myself, and have been waiting to see what the other submissions were. To make it easier to track what is happening with the submissions, I made a Google Docs spreadsheet so I could collate a list of submissions for and against the CDC. I added a third category, unclear, on reading one submission that was intending to make a more formal submission at the second public hearing. I’ve decided to make this spreadsheet public to make it so that others who don’t want to suffer and read through them all can get an idea as to what the submissions are about, and what the consensus is thus far. There is also a cache/copy of all the submissions as I download them and skim them… which anyone can access as a shared folder if they wish.
Thus far, what I am henceforth going to refer to the ‘score’ in the Alan Tudge & Andrew Forrest vs the People of Australia debate stands at 3 / 16 with one unclear, making the first drop of submissions clearly in our favour!! I hope to see this ratio stay somewhat similar as more submissions are released in the coming few days. Then of course there are the public hearings in Kalgoorlie on the 12th of Oct and Canberra on the 2nd of November. And unless an extension is needed, the report from the Inquiry on the 13th of November. I know there will be a dissenting report from the Greens… that is a certainly, but I’m also hoping to finally see the ALP take a position, and also have a dissenting report as well.