Mandatory Drug Testing for Centrelink Recipients

The federal Government has long been pushing for mandatory drug testing for Centrelink recipients.

The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2019 is currently being considered by parliament and would require 5000 randomly selected recipients to participate in random drug testing.

The program is being trialled for two years in three regions: Canterbury-Bankstown (NSW), Mandurah (WA) and Logan (Qld). 5000 participants will be randomly selected from these regions to be tested for illicit substances. Those people who test positive will then receive ‘income management’ and be subject to further random drug tests for the 24 month trial period.

Income management means that a person will receive 80% of their welfare payments on a cashless debit card – only available for purchases in certain stores.

If a person tests positive to multiple tests within the 24 month period, they will be referred to a medical professional for assessment. If treatment is then recommended, the recipient would have relevant treatment activities added to their Job Plan.

Recipients who don’t follow their Job Plan may have actions taken against them, as the law is now.

Any recipient who does not attend their testing may have their payments suspended and possibly cancelled.

About the Author: Blair Carey

About the Author: Blair Carey

Blair Carey is a Criminal Law Clerk at Gatenby Criminal Lawyers.  He regularly researches new laws and their potential impact for our clients. Blair assists Michael Gatenby and our expert solicitors with providing the best advice on all related matters.