Cairns Regional Council has implemented a NO-CASH policy at all Council facilities back in 2022. This includes the library, where kids are refused service as they don’t have a payment card.

The decision to go cashless was not made by any of our elected representatives (Councilors) it was made by unelected bureaucrats in the Cairns Regional Council.

Here is what the Cairns Regional Council responded to our enquiry/complaint:

“As a direct result of Covid-19, Council introduced a cashless approach to its operations to minimise the risk to both staff and our customers. While the Covid pandemic now appears to be less of a risk, it’s impacts are lasting with the transition to cashless remaining a growing trend as many other businesses across Cairns and the wider Australian community demonstrate this option as their payment preference.

This aligns with other Council venues that have remained cashless since the pandemic including Cairns Performing Arts Centre, Tanks, and Libraries.

Prior to making the operational decision to remove cash payments at Resource Recovery facilities from 1 July 2022, there were many factors taken into consideration including: Safety for our customers and staff;
Operational efficiencies;
Reduced transaction times;
Convenience for our customers;
Payment preferences of our customers and wider community;
Reduced cash collection service costs;
Lowered risk of fraud;
Eliminated risk of cash theft or burglary;
and Improved staff health and safety with reduced physical interaction with customers e.g. Covid.

Please be aware that not all decisions made by Council are required to be voted upon by elected members. As this was an operational matter based on the above factors, it was a decision made by Council with consideration to the community benefit through best use of rate payer funds.

It is not unlawful for Council to refuse to accept cash and to ask for card payments only, provided it is made clear before the service or good is purchased, as per the Currency Act 1965 (Cth) and the Reserve Bank Act 1959 (Cth). This direction to go cashless was communicated to the public in the lead up to its implementation via the following: Community Service Announcement sent out on 27 June 2022
A factsheet was placed on Council’s website regarding the changes to payment facilities and hard copies were made available at all sites to hand out to customers

From March 2022, signage was erected at all facilities advising of the coming changes and inviting customers to provide feedback. On 1 July 2022, signage was installed at all facilities advising that only contactless or card payments would be accepted. We can appreciate that the impacts of this change do not align with your preference to use cash, however we are confident that these changes have been widely accepted by the majority of Council’s customers since being introduced on 1 July 2022.”

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