Drug treat­ment part of trial

Pinjarra Murray Times - - FRONT PAGE -

CAN­NING MHR An­drew Hastie has an­nounced $10 mil­lion for treat­ment at­tached to the Drug Test­ing Trial in Man­durah.

Mr Hastie said the Turn­bull govern­ment was de­ter­mined to in­tro­duce a drug test­ing trial to help res­i­dents get the help they needed to get off drugs and into work.

So­cial Ser­vices Min­is­ter Dan Te­han was in Man­durah with Mr Hastie to an­nounce ad­di­tional treat­ment avail­able through the Fed­eral Govern­ment’s $10m drug treat­ment fund.

Un­der the trial, 5000 new re­cip­i­ents of New­start Al­lowance and Youth Al­lowance (other) would be tested over a two-year trial pe­riod across three lo­ca­tions: Man­durah, Lo­gan in Queens­land and Can­ter­bury Banks town in NSW.

The ad­di­tional $10 mil­lion in fund­ing would pro­vide:

■ $1 mil­lion for case man­age­ment ser­vices for peo­ple who test pos­i­tive more than once un­der the trial;

■ $3m to boost drug treat­ment ca­pac­ity in the three trial sites; and

■ $6m for ad­di­tional ac­cred­ited treat­ment sup­port in the event State or Com­mon­wealth funded ser­vices can­not be ac­cessed in a timely man­ner.

Mr Te­han said the Govern­ment had re­cently re-in­tro­duced its drug test­ing trial leg­is­la­tion into the Par­lia­ment and called on La­bor and the cross­bench to sup­port it.

When the drug test­ing trial was first an­nounced last year, Man­durah MLA David Tem­ple­man said he was con­cerned the trial could lead to in­creased crime and home­less­ness.

“Un­for­tu­nately, re­mov­ing wel­fare pay­ments from peo­ple will hit chil­dren the hard­est as they are the ones who will be the most vul­ner­a­ble,’’ he said.

“What we need in Man­durah is jobs and in­vest­ment in the fu­ture.”

Mr Tem­ple­man said Man­durah was a mag­nif­i­cent com­mu­nity that did not need any more neg­a­tive la­bels, im­plied by the drug trial.

“It’s time to stand up for Man­durah and pro­mote the over­whelm­ing num­ber of pos­i­tive at­tributes we have, rather than fo­cus­ing on a neg­a­tive few,” he said.

Mr Te­han said the best thing the govern­ment could do was help some­one to get off wel­fare and into work.

“The drug test­ing trial is about help­ing peo­ple to help them­selves get a job,” he said.

“Do­ing noth­ing is no longer an op­tion. Do­ing noth­ing is not help­ing Aus­tralians to ad­dress a drug prob­lem and get off wel­fare and into work.”

Mr Hastie said the trial had great po­ten­tial for Man­durah.

“New­start and Youth Al­lowance are de­signed to help peo­ple while they look for work,” he said.

“But if peo­ple are strug­gling with drug abuse, their chances of get­ting hired and hold­ing a job are much lower.

“The drug test­ing will iden­tify those peo­ple who need help and the treat­ment fund will make sure those peo­ple have the re­sources they need to get drug-free and job-ready.”

So­cial Ser­vices Min­is­ter Dan Te­han with Can­ning MHR An­drew Hastie.

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