Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has said today that she is worried her home state of Western Australia may become a target for drug testing people trying to access income support, particularly the City of Bunbury, which is seeing an increase in methylamphetamine addiction.
“The Government said today that they will use sewage testing to help find 5000 people struggling with drug addiction who are applying for income support so that they can be tested. This is a huge breach of civil liberties and demonises people struggling with addiction that should be supported and treated through the health system.
“Sewage testing by ACIC has shown that WA has the highest level of methylamphetamine addiction in the country, whilst Bunbury was identified last year as having the highest level of for methylamphetamine addiction in WA in testing carried out by the state.
“This makes Bunbury a clear front runner for this demonising policy announced by the Government. This also means that the cashless welfare card would be introduced in Bunbury, because people who fail to pass the drug test are pushed onto the card.
“Bunbury needs assistance to help people to address issues with addiction, they need more funding and supports to provide a health based approach.
“The law and order approach to drug use has clearly failed, it needs to be treated as the health problem that it is”.