The government has no plans to implement sweeping welfare changes just yet but Prime Minister Tony Abbott hasn’t ruled out stricter conditions in the near future.
In his review of indigenous employment, mining magnate Andrew Forrest proposes a welfare card for a host of government payments, introducing income management to 2.5 million people.
Mr Forrest wants certain products, including alcohol and cigarettes, to be banned on the card.
The prime minister said some of Mr Forrest’s ideas “run ahead of today’s public opinion” but his review challenges Australians to do more to ensure kids are in school and adults are in work.
“They are the essential ingredients of a good life,” he said.
Mr Forrest called on the prime minister to be brave and adopt what he calls long-sighted policies proposed in his review.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he disagreed with a “one-size fits all” approach.
“I note that the government is already laying down groundwork to walk away from the report,” Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told ABC radio.