Jobseeker drug test

TESTING: Random drug tests will be performed on 5000 welfare seekers across Australia.
TESTING: Random drug tests will be performed on 5000 welfare seekers across Australia. Sophie Volker

WELFARE seekers across the country will soon face random drug testing as part of the Federal Government's trial to overhaul illegal drug use.

Announced as part of Tuesday night's Federal Budget, 5000 New Start or Youth Allowance recipients will be selected for random drug testing when the trial begins on January 1, 2018.

Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said the locations for the random drug-testing trials were still being decided, but he said any community would benefit from such testing.

"This is a trial that we'll be rolling out to ensure that those people who are able to access this privilege (welfare) are treating it with the respect that they should, and ensuring they put themselves in the very best position to get a job,” Mr Littleproud said.

"It's also about ensuring that the taxpayers' money is being used effectively; hard-working Australians don't expect their tax dollars to fund a welfare recipient's drug habit.”

Under the new trial, if a jobseeker tests positive to drugs, they will be immediately placed on welfare quarantine, and if they refuse testing, they will lose access to welfare.

The government will provide drug users with programs and support to give them the help they need.

"I think you'll see a more focused approach to those that are touched by drugs in our life, and as a society, we'll only improve,” Mr Littleproud said.

Topics:  centrelink david littleproud drug-testing federal budget jobseekers youth allowance

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