Minister gets drug test in welfare push

Minister gets drug test in welfare push

National News
Social Services Senator Anne Ruston has taken a drug test to push for welfare drug screenings.

Social Services Senator Anne Ruston has taken a drug test to push for welfare drug screenings.

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Social Services Minister Anne Ruston has taken a drug test as she makes the case for welfare recipients to cop similar treatment. The Morrison government on W...

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Social Services Minister Anne Ruston has taken a drug test as she makes the case for welfare recipients to cop similar treatment.

The Morrison government on Wednesday reintroduced legislation to parliament to enable the drug-testing of 5000 Newstart and Youth Allowance recipients.

"I'm pleased to advise the Senate that this morning I took a drug test and anybody in this place is welcome to go and have a drug test," Senator Ruston told question time on Thursday.

"It's very, very commonplace in many, many workplaces."

Senator Ruston said the legislation was designed to help job seekers remove barriers to employment rather than a punitive measure.

She said people who tested positive would be put on income management which quarantines 80 per cent of welfare money.

Labor senator Sue Lines labelled the minister's actions as a "disgraceful stunt".

"And if she didn't pass was her pay going to be docked?" she tweeted.

Key crossbench senator Jacqui Lambie is refusing to support the drug-testing trials until more rehabilitation beds are available.

She's also raised screening federal politicians for illicit substances, with little opposition from government MPs.

Australian Associated Press

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