Malcolm Turnbull targeted on welfare drug tests in the latest GetUp! campaign.
Malcolm Turnbull targeted on welfare drug tests in the latest GetUp! campaign.

Is GetUp! taking the piss on welfare drug tests?

DRUG testing of welfare cheats who don't bother to turn up to job interviews is a sensible move that may even save their lives.

Yet the plan outlined in the Budget has been the subject of another unsavoury campaign from GetUp! the left-wing activist group.

GetUp!'s campaign site says: "Last night, Scott Morrison told hundreds of thousands of Australians locked out of work that he wanted them to squat and piss in a cup to prove they deserve a helping hand.

"It's revolting. People doing it tough are being kicked while they're down with humiliating requirements we never ask of anybody else in civil society.''

Is GetUp taking the piss? Does it serious believe malingerers and drug takers should be allowed to sup on the national mammary gland forever?

We already have widespread drug and alcohol testing in Australia. A simple roadside mouth swab conducted by Queensland police has had remarkable success at nailing substance abusers.

The GetUp campaign is merely an attempted character assignation of Treasurer Scott Morrison.

Up to 5000 people claiming Newstart and Youth Allowance payments will be subjected to drug and alcohol testing as part of a trail starting in 2018.

Those who return a positive drug test will have their welfare payments quarantined and referred to a health professionals.

RELATED: Head to head on welfare drug tests - should MPs be included?

Do you support testing of MPs along with welfare recipients?

This poll ended on 19 May 2017.

Current Results

Yes. MPs should face random drug and alcohol tests


No. Only welfare recipients


No. Neither should be tested


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Perhaps the tests should be should also be conducted in dangerous workplaces such as building sites. For safety reasons I'm sure the CFMEU would not object.

Most Australians will welcome the move to test welfare recipients.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the policy was about reaching out and helping those with drug and alcohol problems.

"If you love somebody who is addicted to drugs, if you love somebody whose life is being destroyed by drugs, don't you want to get them off drugs?" he said.

I liked what Senator Eric Abetz said: "GetUp's claims are blatantly wrong - drug and alcohol testing is common in Australia's workplaces and something not only permitted under Labor's Fair Work Act, laws that GetUp supports, and required under some aspects of Work Health and Safety Laws.

"In circumstances where literally hundreds of thousands of Australians, who pay their taxes to fund welfare, are subjected to drug and alcohol testing, why shouldn't welfare recipients be as well?

"While taxpayers are happy to support unemployed Australians who have fallen on tough times, they expect that they will do all they can to find work and not to waste those taxpayer dollars on drugs.

"This important pilot will have the dual benefit of supporting people on drugs to kick the habit and help unemployed people to gain work."

News Corp Australia

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