Federal MP Bob Katter blasts cash ban in federal parliament after $50 note rejected in popular dining room


Bob Katter has lashed out at the federal government after his cash was rejected at a popular cafe inside Canberra’s Parliament House.

On Tuesday, the outspoken federal MP was outraged after being told by staff at parliament’s iconic dining room that the venue did not accept cash after he attempted to pay for a plate of fish and vegetables with a $50 note.

While staff offered to pay for the meal free of charge, it did not stop Mr Katter from taking the issue to parliamentary speaker Milton Dick, who vowed to “immediately” reverse the cashless policy.

“Legal tender means you must accept it, it’s the law,” the 78-year-old MP said.

“I fight the battle because otherwise all your freedom is gone.

“You can’t buy a loaf of bread without the bank’s permission. The banks will now have complete control of your life.”

Camera IconBob Katter suggested a new design for Australia’s coins. Supplied. Credit: Supplied

Mr Katter has ramped up his war against Australia’s transition towards a cashless society, even unveiling a new “mock-up” coin in November to replace the faces on Aussie cash from British monarchs to local icons and Indigenous leaders.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, he called the recent cafe incident “embarrassing” considering that his cash was rejected in the very place where laws were created to protect it as a valid form of currency.

According to recent report from the Australian Banking Association, the use of digital payments on smartphones nationwide has skyrocketed from $746m in 2018 to more than $93bn in 2022.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia also revealed last week that it had shut down more than one-third of its physical stores and closed more than 2000 ATMs over the past five years.

PRIME MINISTER CHURCH
Camera IconMr Katter argued many Australians could not afford cash to be phased out. Martin Ollman/NCA NewsWire. Credit: News Corp Australia

Mr Katter warned that as natural disasters grow increasingly more frequent in Australia, referring to the recent tragic floods in his own electorate in North Queensland, citizens would be unable to pay for bare essentials if access to cash was restricted.

“Your plastic magic won’t work without electricity and without cash you’ll starve, you won’t be able to buy fuel or medication either,” he said.

Despite thanking parliamentary leaders for a swift response to his lunchtime cash rejection, the MP vowed to continue his fight against the cashless cause.



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