Get it moving”: Jacqui Lambie advocates for drug testing of welfare recipients
The Morrison government is after welfare recipients as parliament resumes after the winter break and is advocating for cashless welfare card trials across the country.
The government has the backing of key Senate crossbencher Jacqui Lambie in the cash welfare card trials.
“I’ve always been a big supporter of the cashless welfare cards — I’ve seen the result that has had,” Senator Lambie told reporters in Canberra, according to news.com.au.
“I will say this, though, get those algorithms right because quite frankly it’s taking you way too long, get it moving.”
The government is also planning to have another try at passing legislation that will trial drug-testing for welfare recipients.
Lambie supports this, but is also calling for her fellow MPs to be drug and alcohol tested.
“I want to see the politicians up there grow a spine and you don’t go and put something on someone else that you don’t expect to put on yourself,” she said.
“If you’ve got nothing to hide up there in that big white house then it’s now your turn to go and do that random drug and alcohol test. What’s wrong with you people, might miss a few wines after 8 o’clock at night, will we? That’ll keep the backbenchers in line.”
The drug and alcohol testing idea has been rejected twice by the previous parliament, but Finance Minister Mathias Cormann is defiant it will work.
“We want to support and encourage Australians to deal with any barriers they are facing in terms of getting back into the workforce,” Senator Cormann told the ABC.
“That is, of course, why we believe that through this drug testing trial, that we should assess whether there’s better ways to channel Australians into treatment.”
The Australian Medical Association opposes the trial, believing it will stigmatise people.
“It may actually make their chance of getting another job later much harder,” AMA federal councillor Chris Moy said.
“The next thing is, there’s actually no evidence from international trials that this actually works.”
The Labor party has argued that this policy is divisive.
The two-year drug testing trials would be rolled out in three locations, which are Logan in Queensland, Canterbury-Bankstown in NSW and Mandurah in WA.