Stop the discriminatory random drug testing of Logan welfare recipients

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The Turnbull Government will tell you that the targeting of welfare recipients in Logan is all about helping people who are drug dependent getting access to the services they need. In reality, it’s affect will be to demonise welfare recipients and those struggling with addiction which will further demoralise already vulnerable people.

There is no evidence to support any positive outcomes from this type of policy. For example, when the US state of Florida started drug testing welfare recipients several years ago, a couple of things happened:

Only 2.6% of welfare recipients tested positive for illicit drugs, when the state average is 8%, confirming that despite the scaremongering far fewer people on welfare were using drugs.

The drug testing itself came at a net cost to taxpayers and there were no positive outcomes for the community or human services sector. The courts eventually ruled it was illegal.

The government is implementing this policy without undertaking meaningful consultation with medical organisations such as the Australian Medical Association, St Vincent’s Health and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. They all believe there is no evidence this will lead to an improvement in community health outcomes.

There has also been no consultation with local support groups and local government, with Logan Mayor Luke Smith describing the decision as 'atrocious.'

The Turnbull Government is ignoring medical advice, ignoring recent policy failures, and they are ignoring the real needs and concerns of Logan residents - all for what exactly?



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