Job seekers part of drug trial
MEASURE IS TO HELP ABUSERS, NOT PENALISE: PORTER
NEW job seekers receiving welfare will be drug tested as part of a trial in Mandurah.
The new $10 million treatment fund in Mandurah is to be the third and final location to trial drug testing of new job seekers.
Social Services Minister Christian Porter made the announcement with Canning MHR Andrew Hastie.
Starting next year, the twoyear Drug Testing Trial across three locations will test 5000 new recipients of Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance (other) for illicit substances including ice (methamphetamine), ecstasy (MDMA) and marijuana (THC).
Mr Porter said the trial would benefit job seekers in Mandurah who have drug problems.
“This trial is focused entirely on helping job seekers overcome drug problems and to receive the help they need to get on a path towards securing a job and building a better future for themselves and their families,” he said.
“It is not about penalising or stigmatising people who have a barrier to employment which is as serious as drug abuse. We want to help people in this situation.
“Failure to do so simply leaves people at risk of a cycle of welfare dependency.”
Mr Porter said high rates of drug abuse in Mandurah affected the whole community.
“While Mandurah has existing drug and alcohol services to support people in overcoming substance issues, the Government is also establishing a dedicated treatment fund of up to $10 million to support job seekers across the three trial sites,” he said.
The trial begins in January 2018 in three locations across Australia.
People who test positive will continue to receive their welfare payment but 80 per cent of their payment will only be accessible through Income Management.
“Income Management has already been used in Mandurah and is a proven and effective tool to help welfare recipients manage their money to ensure their basic living needs are met,” Mr Porter said.
MPs Christian Porter and Andrew Hastie.