Policy aims at treatment

Gareth ThomasAlbany Advertiser

Federal MP Rick Wilson says the letter to the Albany Advertiser highlights the issues the Government is trying to rectify with its proposed drug testing for welfare recipients policy.

Mr Wilson said he wanted to make the point the policy was not about throwing people off the dole but identifying people with a drug issue and getting them into treatment.

He said the policy, which would apply to new Youth Allowance and New Start applicants across three yet-to-be-identified national trial sites, would work by getting people who tested positive for meth, ecstasy or cannabis into a rehabilitation program.

The Government will also consider placing welfare recipients who test positive onto a cashless debit card which quarantines 80 per cent of their welfare payments from being taken out as cash, or used for alcohol or gambling.

“In the case of your correspondent, perhaps it’s the children we need to be looking after, not just the adults on the benefits because it’s the children that suffer as well,” Mr Wilson said.

Mr Wilson said Albany would be an unlikely choice for the trial.

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