Contemporary tools of dispossession: The cashless debit card trial in the east kimberley

Elise Klein, Sarouche Razi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This article focuses on the Cashless Debit Card (CDC) trial in the East Kimberley, Western Australia. The card is the latest iteration of income management and aims to restrict cash and purchases to curb alcohol consumption, illegal drug use and gambling. We review the CDC trial in the context of current policies managing First Nations and poor-non-First Nations consumption. We find that the Cashless Debit Card individualises and depoliticises unemployment and poverty as it is based on fraught assumptions about First Nations employment and unemployment that blame low employment rates on 'bad behaviour'. It thereby increases hardship on the lives of those subjected to the card, and is a mechanism to empower Australian capitalism and settler colonialism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-106
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Australian Political Economy
Issue number82
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


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