OPINION: Drug testing is fair for welfare recipients
HOME Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has said it's just "common sense” to drug test people who receive Centrelink benefits.
Talking on Channel 9's Today this morning, Mr Dutton said the controversial proposal - which would feature welfare recipients who test positive put on income management - should be backed by Labor.
"It's not about a punishment, it's about making sure that money is spent on them, on their kids if that's the case, but not on drugs and illicit substances.”
Draft laws will go to parliament next week that, if passed, will mean see a two-year drug testing trial will be rolled out in three locations: Logan in Queensland, Canterbury-Bankstown in New South Wales and Mandurah in Western Australia.
Similar laws were proposed last year but expired before they could be passed.
About 5000 new recipients of Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance will be tested for ice, ecstasy, marijuana, cocaine and heroin.
Anyone testing positive will be placed on income management for a period of 24 months or the duration of the trial.
What do you think?
Bruce Hastie: Of course it's fair... but who is going to benefit from this? Realistically, only doctors and all the medical personnel involved in the testing will benefit... it will cost the Government hundreds of millions a year in testing and rehabilitation.
So what is the real point here? It isn't to save money obviously... and the Government isn't interested in the welfare of unemployed people or they would increase benefits so those that are on drugs can actually do something else. Because most I know that fit into this category are depressed because of their situation and that's why they turned to drugs in the first place.
Craig Payne: Amazing how the Government can find money for some things. So are we going to breath-test politicians after lunch? Fair is fair and if they have nothing to hide then nothing to worry about, right?
Anthony Costello: 100 per cent fair. And I'm unemployed.
Nicole Chapple: Fair, my husband has to for his job so don't see the problem.
Lee Horrocks: The only problem I have with this is that if they test positive and they lose their payment or are placed on other restrictions, will that mean more crime? Which is already totally out of control.
Fred Hunter: If it's good enough for the lowest in welfare, it is good enough for the highest. Test the politicians current and those who are retired on pensions first. It's called leadership lead from the front. One former prime minister's pension costs us more the half a dozen at the lowest end.
Cassie Isaac: All that money to do this could be spent on water for the farms. Instead, farmers are being made to pay for water. Same farms we need to survive.
Deborah Carpenter: Yes, should be done.
Leanne Causley: Fair. Only the ones who take drugs won't want it.
Sarah Doherty: 100 per cent. It may act as a deterrent, and it may help a few people who are on any rubbish.
Nancy Rogers: I see a lot of ice addicts driving kids around so, yes, if it helps determine kids in danger maybe it might help.
Jane Apps: I get drug tested for work.
Vanessa Bryer: All politicians should be tested to for alcohol and drugs before they vote on anything.
Robert Spark: I had to pass a drug test to gain employment with my current employer.
Bec Draper: So over Mr Dutton's frequent attacks on the vulnerable people in our communities. If he isn't treading all over the rights and well-being of refugees or asylum seekers, he's trying to convince us those who rely welfare support are drug addicts. It's a constant, ugly attempt to turn us on ourselves, and it seems he and Prime Minister Scott Morrison will stop at nothing to convince us we have "enemies” and the LNP is our "saviours”.
Sickening and despicable.