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Drug Testing of Income Support recipients must be rejected

The Greens have strongly condemned the Government’s attempt to reintroduce their Bill to drug test income support recipients after it was thoroughly rejected by the last Parliament.

"This is an ideological approach, this is clear as the evidence is so overwhelming that this approach doesn’t work", Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.

"The evidence further indicates that this "tough love" approach actually entrenches disadvantage and poverty rather than addressing underlying barriers.

"I'm frankly gobsmacked that the Government could even think of introducing this legislation which flies in the face of the medical evidence. Their claim that this is different because they aren’t making people pay for the tests is absolutely farcical.

"It's heartbreaking that the Government keeps ignoring the pleas of the community to increase Newstart for people who are really suffering in poverty, instead pushing ahead with measures that will make their lives worse.

"This is a morally bankrupt Government.

"Trials aren’t needed, the evidence shows this approach won’t work. The Greens will call this out for what it is, an ideological approach that once again demonises those accessing our social safety net."

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Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie; 0418 401 180

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