Pol­icy aims at treat­ment

Albany Advertiser - - NEWS - Gareth Thomas

Fed­eral MP Rick Wil­son says the let­ter to the Al­bany Ad­ver­tiser high­lights the is­sues the Gov­ern­ment is try­ing to rec­tify with its pro­posed drug test­ing for wel­fare re­cip­i­ents pol­icy.

Mr Wil­son said he wanted to make the point the pol­icy was not about throw­ing peo­ple off the dole but iden­ti­fy­ing peo­ple with a drug is­sue and get­ting them into treat­ment.

He said the pol­icy, which would ap­ply to new Youth Al­lowance and New Start ap­pli­cants across three yet-to-be-iden­ti­fied na­tional trial sites, would work by get­ting peo­ple who tested pos­i­tive for meth, ec­stasy or cannabis into a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gram.

The Gov­ern­ment will also con­sider plac­ing wel­fare re­cip­i­ents who test pos­i­tive onto a cash­less debit card which quar­an­tines 80 per cent of their wel­fare pay­ments from be­ing taken out as cash, or used for al­co­hol or gam­bling.

“In the case of your cor­re­spon­dent, per­haps it’s the chil­dren we need to be look­ing af­ter, not just the adults on the ben­e­fits be­cause it’s the chil­dren that suf­fer as well,” Mr Wil­son said.

Mr Wil­son said Al­bany would be an un­likely choice for the trial.

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