The Law Council of Australia has provided a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs regarding the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2018. The Bill will establish a two year drug testing trial in three regions of Australia for 5000 new recipients of Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance.
In its submission, The Law Council reiterates its concern that “the proposed measures had not been demonstrated to be a necessary or proportionate response to dealing with alcohol and drug dependency issues within the welfare system.” The Council made a number of recommendations, including that testing be voluntary and that payment of Newstart or Youth Allowances should not be conditional upon the giving of consent.
The Federal Government seeks to commence trial drug testing for certain welfare recipients in Logan, QLD, Canterbury-Bankstown, NSW, and Mandurah, WA (02 May 2018) from 1 July 2018. You can read the Law Council’s complete submission here.