Indigenous leader Noel Pearson says he is pleased that welfare reform trials on Cape York appear to be having a positive effect.
The Cape York trials were rolled out last year in four Indigenous communities – Aurukun, Hopevale, Mossman Gorge and Coen.
Human Services Minister Joe Ludwig says while there have been some teething problems, only 30 people in those communities have been forced onto income management.
Senator Ludwig says while they are required to spend three quarters of their payment on food or clothing, general figures that also include Western Australia and the Northern Territory show 90 per cent is being spent on essentials.
Mr Pearson says he is “ecstatic”.
“The big surge in the amount of money being spent on food and clothing is cause for great happiness on my part,” he said.
Senator Ludwig says he is getting advice on working with Ear Health Australia to reduce ear and hearing problems in the communities.