News State Western Australia News Welfare drug testing expanding to include third trial site in Western Australia
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Welfare drug testing expanding to include third trial site in Western Australia

The cashless welfare card quarantines up to 80 per cent of a person's welfare.
The cashless welfare card quarantines up to 80 per cent of a person's income support. Photo: Getty
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The Turnbull government has named Mandurah, West Australia as the third site where drug testing will be trialled for welfare recipients.

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge said Mandurah, like those sites already announced in western Sydney and Logan, Queensland, has a high incidence of drug use and quite a lot of drug and alcohol services already in existence.

“Thirdly, it has a form of cashless income management in place as well. So that means we can leverage that existing infrastructure,” Mr Tudge told ABC television on Sunday.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter, who will announce the Mandurah trial on Sunday morning, has previously said the trial is focused on helping jobseekers overcome drug problems and secure work.

Up to 5000 new recipients of Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance will be drug tested during the two-year trial.

As part of the trial, those who return a positive test will have 80 per cent of their benefit payment put onto a Basics Card which limits the amount of money people can withdraw as cash, with remaining funds reserved for essentials such as rent, child care, food and household needs.

After a second positive test, the person will have to see a doctor at the government’s expense and undergo any treatment proposed in order to continue receiving benefits.

Logan City Mayor Luke Smith reacted angrily when his region was selected, saying he feare the trial would stigmatise the city