Mandurah drug test trial: Federal Government sets aside $10 million
TEN million dollars has been set aside for a drug treatment fund that would force Mandurah welfare recipients to undergo drug tests.
Mandurah is one of three cities in Australia selected for the Federal Government trial which would see those who refuse to take part lost their payments.
Social Services Minister Dan Tehan said the trial was not about punishing people but rather helping them.
“This is about helping people,” Social Services Minister Dan Tehan said. “It's not about penalising them. We want to ensure that they're getting the help and support that they can.”
Under the two year trial, funded in last week's Federal budget, people in Mandurah signing up to Newstart and Youth Allowance would have to undergo drug tests.
If they fail, they'll be referred to rehab.
But if they refuse to undergo a test they will lose their payment.
“As an ADF serviceman, in my previous career, I took drug tests overseas on operations and local City of Mandurah employees take drug tests, so I don't see why we should have a double standard here,” Andrew Hastie, Federal member for Canning, said.
Mandurah locals gave the idea the thumbs up.
“If they get off it and and get a job out of it then it's obviously doing its job, definitely,” Kasey Hamilton-Roberts said.
“If you want to get serious on drugs, should be drug testing everyone not just people on welfare,” Rob Luckman said.
However the trial might not go ahead. Labor says medical and health experts don't believe the program will work.
An unemployment program that is working is Mandurah's Bridging the gap.
It's received one million dollars in Federal funding to help 60 young parents get back into the workforce.