Community leaders are clamouring to join the federal government's cashless welfare card scheme with two new trial sites to be announced within weeks.
But the Greens are fanning fears about an increase in crime in one town where the cards are already in use and urging the prime minister to scrap them altogether.
Human Services Minister Alan Tudge on Thursday introduced legislation to extend two existing trials and expand the program to other sites.
He told parliament the cards had proven effective in Western Australia's East Kimberley and Ceduna in South Australia, with a recent review finding alcohol consumption, illegal drug use and gambling had fallen.
The cards quarantine 80 per cent of welfare payments for use on food and other essentials, while the remainder is free to be withdrawn as cash.
Many communities have expressed interest in using the cards in their regions and consultations are well underway, Mr Tudge said.
The Greens remain flatly opposed to the cards, pointing to WA Police statistics showing an increase in non-aggravated robberies, theft and threatening behaviour at Kununurra since the cards were introduced.
"For those managing on a shoestring budget the card makes life more difficult and those that are struggling with addiction will find ways around it," Greens senator Rachel Siewert said.
"We need locally driven, well-resourced wrap-around services to support those struggling with addiction."
The minister is unfazed, saying the cards are clearly having an impact.
"It wouldn't matter what we do, how effective the card is, how much support there is from community leaders on the ground, they will oppose it for ideological reasons," Mr Tudge told Sky News.
"This card could produce world peace and they'd still oppose it."
The government has copped some backlash about the significant costs of the scheme but the minister insists the price-per-card will be cheaper as more users come on board.
"Once we get to full scale it'll be a few hundred dollars per card and it's a little bit more than that at the moment," he said.
The new legislation removes the limit of three trial sites and end date of June 30, 2018. However parliament will retain oversight in terms of new locations, cohorts and timing.
Labor wants the legislation scrutinised by a Senate inquiry and says it will adopt a community-by-community approach.
"We understand many communities want assistance in addressing chronic alcohol abuse," opposition social services spokeswoman Jenny Macklin said.
"Labor also understands that the vast majority of social security recipients are more than capable of managing their personal finances."