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Government Plans To Drug Test Welfare Recipients Back On Agenda

New bill receives strong support

Government Plans To Drug Test Welfare Recipients Back On Agenda Pexels

Plans to drug test welfare recipients are back on the agenda.

The Turnbull government had originally hoped to drug test 5000 Newstart and Youth Allowance recipients across three trial sites in NSW, Queensland and Western Australia from January, but it was rejected by the Senate in December. 

However, proposed new legislation received strong support from the coalition party room on Tuesday. 

Under the government's original plan, anyone who tests positive would have been shunted onto cashless welfare cards, while those who fail more than once would be referred to medical professionals for treatment.

Labor and the Greens opposed the drug tests, arguing they would demonise welfare recipients; while doctors and community groups were also deeply critical of the drug tests, arguing they would prove an expensive, paternalistic and potentially damaging waste of time.

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