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Drug testing trial a red herring

Sep 6, 2019, 08:33 AM by Maiy Azize

Anglicare Australia's Executive Director Kasy Chambers has called for the abandonment of the Government's proposed welfare drug tests, calling them a distraction from failures of the social security system.

“There has been unprecedented outcry over the low rate of Newstart and failures of the robodebt system in recent months. Dredging up this bill now looks like a red herring,” Ms Chambers said.

“Our research shows that in Western Sydney, Queensland, and WA where people will be tested, there are nearly six disadvantaged job seekers for every vacancy at their skill level.

“That’s the real problem - people are competing for jobs that just aren’t there. Forcing people to take drug tests before they can get help won’t achieve anything. 
 
“There is no evidence that these tests help people get off drugs. The Government itself has admitted that. 

“The countries that have trialled random drug testing have found that it’s costly and doesn’t achieve anything. In the US, it has cost up to $1600 USD per person.

“This plan has been rejected in Britain, rejected in Canada. 

“It’s now up to the crossbench to reject these changes here.”