Cairns Regional Council overturns decision to go cashless after residents rally

Residents of a Far North Queensland city have overturned a council decision to ban cash payments after thousands of residents rallied against the move.

Cairns Regional Council rolled out a no-cash policy at all council facilities in July last year, including at libraries, waste transfer stations, and a buy-back shop.

Locals fought against the move with more than 5,000 people signing an online petition that was presented to council last month.

Today the council reversed the decision to go cashless in a session attended by hundreds of people with an overflow room opened outside chambers to accommodate the crowds.

More than 5,000 people signed a petition calling for the council to reverse a decision to go cashless at its facilities.()

Supporters cheered, clapped, and hugged one another as councillors voted in favour of reintroducing cash payments at several dumps as well as introducing ticket-style vending machines to facilitate cash payments, including at the Cairns Performing Arts Complex.

Petition organiser and local resident Frankie Hogan said it was a win for the people, particularly the elderly.

“We have lived with cash for such a long time, it belongs to the people,” Ms Hogan said.

“People might want to go to the buy-back shop and buy something for $2, why should they have to use their card and pay fees on top of that?

“It’s not someone’s right to take that away from us, especially an unelected council CEO.”

The Cairns Performing Arts Centre lit up at night.
The Cairns Performing Arts Centre was one of many council venues to go cashless.()

Ms Hogan said many in the community were unaware of the council’s plan to go cashless until her online petition started circulating.

“It was all done under the guise of COVID safety, and this thought that money is dirty,” she said.

“Money is money, dirty or clean, it’s our money.”

In a statement issued to the ABC today, the council said it had transitioned to “EFTPOS-only at some of its facilities with the intention of increasing safety, being more efficient, and reducing risk and operational costs” since 2019.

The council said it would begin the process of facilitating cash payments at their sites in “due course.”

Australia goes cashless

A new global payments report by the US-based financial technology company FIS has found that just 6 per cent of the value of point-of-sale (POS) transactions in Australia were cash.

POS transactions refer to face-to-face purchases, typically made in-store.

A wide elevated image of a city centre intersection in Cairns
A large number of Cairns residents still want to use cash at council facilities.()

The report found Australians had the lowest use of cash in POS transactions in the Asia Pacific region in 2022, followed by New Zealand, China, and South Korea.

However, the report noted that while cash was “no longer king, it remains essential”.

“The decline of cash continues as consumers gravitate to the ease, convenience, and safety of digital payments,” the report said.

“Yet a cashless society isn’t on the immediate horizon.

“Cash continues to play an essential role in most economies, accounting for over $67.6 trillion in global consumer spending in 2022.”

Posted on April 30, 2023, in ConspiracyOz Posts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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