The federal government's attempts to extend trials of the cashless welfare card could face a major hurdle after Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie confirmed she was unlikely to vote in favour of further legislation.
The government has put the legislation on the draft program for next week's Senate sittings, which would extend the Indue card trials currently operating in rural parts of Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, and roll out the trial to areas of the Northern Territory.
The Indue card involves quarantining 80 per cent of payments on the card, with 20 per cent in cash. Parts of the NT currently have the Basics card which is a 50-50 split.
The government has not ruled out extending the Indue card into other areas of high unemployment across Australia, but Bass Liberal MHR Bridget Archer has previously stated she was wary of marginalisation and stigmatisation of the unemployed should it be proposed for parts of Tasmania.
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Senator Lambie said she wanted to see changes to the design of the cashless welfare card before she would provide further support.
"I've made it crystal clear to the government where I stand on the cashless debit card, and I've told them they've got to iron out the problems with it before pushing ahead," she said.
"If they insist on pushing this through the Senate without doing that basic legwork, it'll only be because they don't need my vote."
Without the support of Senator Lambie, the government would need to win the vote of South Australian independent senators Stirling Griff or Rex Patrick.
Should the government fail to legislate an extension of the trial, the scheme could come to an end in December.
Western Australian Greens senator Rachel Siewert has argued vigorously against the cashless debit card and has urged the crossbench not to support another extension of the trials.
She has also urged those concerned to lobby the senators not to pass the next round of legislation.
"We can stop this crual and punitive card with the support of the Senate crossbench," Senator Siewert said.