The Government’s proposal to drug test income support recipients in trial areas has been thoroughly rejected by medical experts for the third time today.
“There was a clear sense of frustration at the Senate inquiry hearing today from the medical professionals who are not being listened to and a number of references to the fact that the Government continues to doggedly pursue this policy despite strong evidence that it will not work, Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services said today.
“This Government is so blinded by ideology that they keep championing a bill that has been rejected by health experts, again and again.
“As usual there was a lack of consultation with local bodies who would be impacted by these trials.
“I am deeply concerned about the evidence we heard today that this policy will do further harm to already stigmatised and traumatised people.
“We also heard at the hearing that drug tests can be not particularly accurate. The skill set required to correctly interpret results is significant and scarce. Even a positive result only shows the drug is present, not whether a person has an addiction.
“Rather than focusing on these punitive and damaging trials the Government should be focusing on housing and helping people find meaningful work.
“The Government is making judgements about drugs and addiction rather than treating it like the health issue that it is, I urge the cross-bench to listen to the evidence and reject this approach”
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie; 0418 401 180