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Income Management under spotlight in Bankstown 20-6-11

Media release 20/6/11  -                                                                                for immediate release


Income Management under spotlight in Bankstown

The national expansion of the controversial Income Management system will be the subject of a public forum today in Bankstown in South-West Sydney.

Bankstown is one of five new trial sites where Income Management is scheduled for introduction in 2012.

Paddy Gibson, a researcher with the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at UTS has recently returned from Alice Springs and will discuss experiences of hardship and discrimination in Aboriginal communities living with Income Management since the NT Intervention in 2007.

Katie Wrigley from the National Welfare Rights Network will provide a briefing for community members on the policy planned for Bankstown, explain how this fits in with the national roll out of Income Management and discuss her concerns about the punitive nature of the system.

The scheme would compulsorily "quarantine" 50 per cent of the Centrelink payments made to people classified as "vulnerable to financial crisis". 70 per cent would be compulsorily quarantined for those referred by child protection authorities.

The Stop the Intervention Collective in Sydney (STICS) is organising the forum to inform the local community and help strengthen the campaign of opposition to compulsory Income Management.

Mon Wiseman from STICS said, "We are going to fight the introduction of Income Management into NSW every step of the way. For 4 years the BasicsCard has humiliated Aboriginal people in the NT and now they think they can impose it on the poor here too. This government's Income Management trial is over. The verdict? Expensive, demeaning and useless".

Members of the local Aboriginal community in Bankstown have expressed particular concern about the reform, given the discriminatory impact of the NT Intervention.

Aunty Carol Carter, a respected Aboriginal Elder from Bankstown said, "Income Management would take away my self worth, integrity, independence and freedom of choice. It is about control and will do nothing to close the Gap for Aboriginal health", said Aunty Carol.

A contingent from the Aboriginal community in Bankstown will join a STICS protest being organised this Saturday June 25, 1pm at the Sydney Town Hall. The protest, marking four years since the NT Intervention, is demanding repeal of all Intervention laws and raising the slogan: "No to Income Management: Not in the NT, not in Bankstown".

More information about the forum and protest at

Forum Details:

Monday June 20th
1pm Bankstown Senior Citizens' Centre
7 West Terrace, Bankstown

Speakers include:
Paddy Gibson, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, UTS (recently returned from Alice Springs);
Katie Wrigley, Welfare Rights Centre

For comment contact:
Paddy Gibson 0415800586; Mon Wiseman 0415 410 558; Aunty Carol Carter 02 9772 4095