Australia seeking to test welfare recipients for drugs

The trial will be conducted at three sites across Sydney, Brisbane and rural Western Australia.
The trial will be conducted at three sites across Sydney, Brisbane and rural Western Australia.PHOTO: AFP

Controversial plan blasted by critics, who say it will stigmatise the jobless

The Australian government wants to impose compulsory drug testing on welfare recipients in a controversial move which critics say is costly, unnecessary and "stigmatises" the unemployed.

The ruling Liberal-National coalition, which tends to take a tough approach to welfare recipients, has proposed a trial in which 5,000 people who receive unemployment benefits would be tested for drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 28, 2019, with the headline 'Australia seeking to test welfare recipients for drugs'. Print Edition | Subscribe