page contents Drug testing welfare recipients could lead to more crime, mayor says – The News Headline

Drug testing welfare recipients could lead to more crime, mayor says

The mayor of Canterbury-Bankstown says the federal government’s plans to drug-test welfare recipients will additional stigmatise and marginalise his area and has the possible to power up crime.

The Coalition is pushing forward with its proposal to trial drug trying out of welfare recipients at 3 websites, together with Canterbury-Bankstown in south-western Sydney.

About 1,750 other folks – or one-third of the ones on Newstart and Adolescence Allowancepayments – are anticipated to be examined within the Canterbury-Bankstown trial over two years if regulation is handed through parliament.

A Senate inquiry into the invoice held a listening to in Bass Hill on Monday, listening to issues from native govt, charities and main drug and infectious illness mavens.

Town’s Hard work mayor, Khal Asfour, stated the council believed the drug trying out proposal used to be overly “punitive” and would “perpetuate problems with marginalisation, psychological well being illness, and in the end hurt to our area people”.

“I simply don’t perceive why our town helps to keep getting picked on with those trials. We had been one of the most first to trial the Fundamentals card again in 2012,” Asfour stated.

Senator Murray Watt
(@MurrayWatt)

Lately’s Senate Listening to is the primary in a tribulation web site for the Government’s plan to drug verify welfare recipients. Will probably be fascinating to listen to what locals have to mention. https://t.co/wCNP0h1M6R


April 22, 2018

He stated he believed the trying out may just power other folks clear of reinforce services and products and the social safety machine, forcing them to search out alternative ways to reinforce their dependancy. That might come with resorting to crime, he stated.

Previous on Monday, the Salvation Military used to be scathing in its evaluate of the proposal.

The manager govt, John Falzon, stated it used to be his organisation’s “very robust view” that drug trying out welfare recipients would merely punish essentially the most inclined, riding them additional underground, clear of reinforce services and products and the welfare machine.

“This is a gigantic, now not handiest subject material burden however an emotional burden, inflicting improbable mental pressure, a sense of disempowerment, a sense of hopelessness,” Falzon stated.

“Specifically while you imagine that individuals who will likely be stuck up within the web will likely be individuals who don’t have any factor with substance abuse however are being centered as a result of they wish to employ the social safety machine,” he stated.

Beneath the trial, those that fail a drug verify will likely be put on source of revenue control, and 80% in their welfare will likely be quarantined to a Fundamentals card. A 2nd failed verify will urged a referral to remedy, and the federal government is setting up a remedy fund of as much as $10m to assist get admission to to services and products.

There’s recently just one residential drug rehabilitation centre within the house. Nationally, there’s a important drawback across the provide of rehabilitation services and products and a 2014 find out about confirmed not up to part of those that need assist can get it.

The Salvation Military stocks issues that the measure would do little to deal with the reasons of drug dependancy, however might power up crime.

“We’d additionally recommend that this program may also power some behaviours additional underground, additional off-the-grid, the place other folks – slightly than having the ability to get admission to the reinforce they want – will likely be pushed additional clear of the ones helps as a result of they need to break out consideration,” Falzon stated.

Professor Lisa Maher, a number one knowledgeable at the prevention of infectious illness, stated the trial risked expanding charges of HIV and hepatitis C within the house, specifically amongst ethnically various teams.

“That is obviously an overly inclined inhabitants and makes an attempt to penalise this staff through making an attempt to cut back their get admission to to advantages probably have important public well being implications,” Maher stated.

“One of the most techniques during which this may probably occur is through displacing or riding this staff underground and additional clear of well being services and products. Certainly, there’s a rising frame of study, together with our personal, which presentations how lively drug regulation enforcement can inadvertently build up the potential for HIV and different blood-borne infections amongst individuals who inject medication.”

“I can’t say this strongly sufficient: public insurance policies that build up socioeconomic inequality and disrupt social networks build up alternatives for the transmission of infectious illness.”

Professor Alison Ritter, a drug and alcohol knowledgeable, stated the exams did not anything to spot dependancy. They simply recognized drug use, she stated.

She stated the proposal additionally risked pushing other folks onto riskier artificial medication, which can’t be recognized in exams.

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