Drug Testing Trials for Welfare Recipients

Northern Beaches MP Calls for Welfare Reforms on the Northern Beaches

The Morrison Government will introduce legislation to trial drug testing for new welfare recipients as part of our commitment to remove barriers to employment.


Northern Beaches MP, Jason Falinski said the government is trialling reforms to the welfare system to ensure that the government can identify and encourage treatment for people with substance abuse.


“These trials are about saving lives, not saving money. No one wants to be on welfare and this government is committed to helping those who need it. Once identified, we will be able to assist people pursue treatment to address their substance abuse issues through a $10 million Treatment Fund,” Mr Falinski said.


“The Treatment Fund will boost drug rehabilitation and support service capacity in trial sites.”


The two-year Drug Testing Trial will be rolled out in three locations: Logan in Queensland, Canterbury-Bankstown in New South Wales and Mandurah in Western Australia.


Mr Falinski has written to the Social Services Minister, Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston and invited a trial to take place on the Northern Beaches.


“I would welcome the drug testing trials for welfare recipients on the Northern Beaches. I believe that the people of the Northern Beaches would also be supportive of such, lifesaving measurers. I have written to the Social Services Minister and asked if she would consider an additional trial site.”


The two-year trial will test 5000 new recipients of Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance (other) for illicit substances including ice (methamphetamine), ecstasy (MDMA) and marijuana (THC), cocaine and heroin.


Welfare recipients who test positive will be placed on Income Management for a period of 24 months or the duration of the trial where 80 per cent of their welfare payment will be quarantined to prevent the money being spent on drugs, alcohol and gambling products.



A second drug test will be scheduled within 25 working days of the initial positive result. After a second positive test, the job seeker will be referred to a medical professional who will assess their circumstances and identify treatment options.