‘My mum was Newmaned’: MP slams drug test trial in Logan
THE controversial trial to drug test welfare recipients in Logan was a devastating blow to the city's image, a state MP said.
Macalister MP Melissa McMahon told Parliament unemployed people over 45, including her mother, would be the worst affected.
She said the federal government's unemployment crackdown, which targeted unemployed in Logan, Canterbury-Bankstown in New South Wales and Mandurah in Western Australia, undid all the good work to attract businesses to Logan and make it a tourist destination.
"To have that all undone by declaring it a trial site for drug testing welfare recipients under some apparent attempt at benevolence by our federal overlords is a devastating blow for our community," Mrs McMahon said.
"It is a stark reminder that we have failed to change the public perception - even that of our own federal member - that we are more than just a welfare city.
"It falls into the easy and populist trap of labelling those on welfare as job dodgers who would rather sit at home playing video games and doing drugs rather than getting a job.
"One in four Newstart recipients is over the age of 45. My mother is one - still looking for work after being Newmaned," she said.
Randomly selected Newstart and Youth Allowance recipients will be forced to attend appointments where they will be immediately required to provide saliva, urine or hair samples.
Recipients will have to sign up to the regime or have their payments suspended or terminated if they fail to participate in the opt-in scheme.
Those who refuse will have their payments suspended until they submit to the test.