REMEMBERING THE FIGHT: Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Gail Mabo laid a wreath on Eddie Mabo’s grave on Mer Island in the Torres Strait.
REMEMBERING THE FIGHT: Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Gail Mabo laid a wreath on Eddie Mabo’s grave on Mer Island in the Torres Strait. TRACEY NEARMYAAP

Abbott backs roll-out of income control cards

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has backed a wider roll-out of income management cards to indigenous communities, as he spends a week in the Far North.

Mr Abbott on Monday visited the grave of land rights campaigner Eddie Mabo during an annual trip to remote Aboriginal communities.

The card, which would quarantine up to 80% of welfare recipients' payments from alcohol and gambling, also has been considered for non-indigenous welfare recipients.

Mr Abbott said a planned national roll-out would help prevent First Australians "not to blow their dough".

Despite some concerns the card would adversely affect recipients, Mr Abbott said it would help people to spend their money on things that "help them, rather than what is going to harm them".

The idea was mooted by a review of indigenous employment by miner Andrew Forrest, but a similar model was used during the Northern Territory intervention.

The card has had mixed response from indigenous communities.


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