Job seekers should be drug free and work ready

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt supports newly introduced legislation for a drug testing trial for welfare recipients and today undertook a workplace drug test.

“The Workplace Drug Testing Association of Australia was in Parliament House to explain how an oral fluid drug test works and I took the opportunity to take the test myself, which was negative for all six substances it tests for,” Mr Pitt said.

“As a worker and business owner before entering politics I worked at many places were random drug tests were a part of everyday life and have no issue doing it now as a politician.

“If everyone that holds a drivers licence has to expect they could be drug or alcohol tested every time they get behind the wheel, it’s surely not too much to expect that job seekers – receiving tax-payer funded welfare – should be drug and alcohol free, so they are work ready,” he said.

The Workplace Drug Testing Association of Australia stated that 3.5 million Australian employees are random drug tested annually across many industry sectors including mining, transport, construction, defence, aviation, forestry and fishing.

The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2019 was introduced into the Parliament yesterday. Under the trial, 5,000 new recipients of Newstart, Youth Allowance (other) will be randomly drug tested in a two-year trial in three locations: Logan, QLD; Canterbury-Bankstown, NSW; and Mandurah, WA.

Like other legislation, it needs to be debated in the House of Representatives and be passed before going to the Senate for debate.

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