Computer keys with one red that reads 'no' and one green that reads 'yes'

Canterbury-Bankstown in western Sydney has been named as the first location to be identified for a trial of drug testing of new job seekers. From 1 January 2018, the two-year Drug Testing Trial across three locations will test 5,000 new recipients of Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance (other) for illicit substances including ice (methamphetamine) and ecstasy (MDMA).

Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, said job seekers in Canterbury-Bankstown with drug abuse issues would benefit from the trial as its primary focus was to help people overcome their drug issues and to assist them achieve independence through work.

“This trial is focused entirely on helping job seekers overcome drug problems and to receive the help they need to get on a path towards securing a job and building a better future for themselves and their families,” the Minister said.

“It is not about penalising or stigmatising people who have a barrier to employment which is as serious as drug abuse. We want to help people in this situation. Failure to do so simply leaves people at risk of a cycle of welfare dependency.”

The Minister said Canterbury-Bankstown had been selected as one of the three trial sites across Australia because of a range of factors, including data showing that methamphetamine-related hospitalisations are a growing problem in the area.

“The area is also well-serviced with drug and alcohol services available to support people in overcoming drug and alcohol issues,” the Minister said.

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Related items:

Government chooses western Sydney for first random drug testing of welfare recipients - ABC News

'It will set western Sydney back 20 years' - SMH

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