Mining magnate Andrew Forrest has defended his radical plan to overhaul Indigenous affairs and the welfare system.
Mr Forrest released a report earlier this month calling for sweeping changes to address the disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
One of the recommendations was that all welfare payments, other than aged or veterans’ pensions, be paid into an account that can only be used to pay for essentials like food, clothing and bills.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott described the idea as “running ahead of current public opinion”, but Mr Forrest insisted it was necessary.
“This is not income management, this is not welfare quarantining, this is full value but in the form of a debit card just like all of us have, just a debit card out of your wallet,” he said.
“There’s no stigma attached, it’s just cashless so you do the drug barons out of a job, not your child out of a job.”
Mr Forrest also suggested tax breaks for some Indigenous employers, and making the ability to read, write and drive a parole condition for prisoners.
He told the ABC’s 7.30 WA program that cherry-picking from his recommendations would not work.
“We won’t get a different result by doing the same things,” he said.
Mr Abbott previously said the plan was “bold and ambitious”, but Mr Forrest insisted it should be adopted in full.
“Your help you’ve been giving so far, hasn’t helped,” Mr Forrest said.
“We have a growing vulnerable population, we have a growing disparity, so your solutions which you want to keep peddling out are only making the problem worse, so let’s go a different way.”