Latest report into welfare quarantining

Welfare quarantining, also known as income management, continues to be a controversial policy that has been embraced, in differing forms, by both Labor and Coalition governments. BOb's Dr Sara Maher has completed a 100 page report charting and critiquing the development of these measures, starting with mandatory income management imposed on remote Indigenous communities in 2007 as part of the Northern Territory Emergency Response, through to the ongoing trials of the cashless debit card in the Kimberley, Ceduna and Hervey Bay.

The report has been commissioned by BOb Director Associate Professor Leanne Weber as part of her Future Fellowship research on the policing of internal borders, and will provide a foundation for empirical case studies which are temporarily on hold due to the pandemic. As Leanne explains 'Sara's report will be a fabulous resource for anyone interested in this problematic policy area. In the context of my study it will help me to consider how this mode of welfare policing creates internal borders between different categories of citizen'.

As well as documenting the development of welfare quarantining policies, Sara's comprehensive report assesses the consultation process and evaluation processes, raising questions about 'voluntary' participation and concluding that the policy has developed in the absence of supportive evidence. Although this report is based on the 'grey literature' consisting of government reports and commentaries, an annotated bibliography of relevant academic material is attached as an appendix to help inform future research.

The complete report can be accessed here.