Keep cash alive - It's common cents!

8 November, 2023

A few weeks ago, Australians were impacted by the breakdown of outages that affected Woolworths stores and ANZ banks simultaneously.

Today…10 million people across Australia are feeling the impacts of Optus’ massive outage.

This is the biggest telco outage in our nation’s history - and it won’t be the last!

Today’s chaos is a stark reminder of what happens when technology fails.  I suggest you be both alert and very alarmed that our nation is so exposed to these threats – and made worse because there’s no back up plan in sight.

Not being able to phone or work is one thing, but when these systems failure prevent you from purchasing food for your kids because your card is on your phone – well that’s quite another.

I don’t know about you, but I’m concerned about the increasing number of businesses that tell me I can’t pay with cash. The last time I checked, cash was still legal tender, and I should be able to use it as such.  

Keeping cash alive is going to be an uphill battle – especially now that businesses are no longer obligated to accept cash.

A cashless society is right on our doorstep. Did you know that in the past 12 months alone, 424 bank outlets closed and a massive 718 ATMs shut down across Australia?  

And because the regions have been disproportionately impacted by these bank closures, it’s taking a huge toll on people in communities like ours, particularly the elderly. 

I haven’t always carried cash, but I do now. Having lived through several bushfire and flood disasters where the electricity was cut off for days, and with ongoing technology failures, outages and data breaches, I encourage everyone around me to do likewise.

Cash gives us the freedom to spend and save as we choose….not to mention it’s a lifeline for buskers, restaurant staff, and the tooth fairy!

 So, as the saying goes, "Use it or lose it."  Keep cash alive - it’s just common cents!

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Russell Broadbent MP
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