Mandurah welfare drug tests could result in just 15 referrals

Mandurah was selected as the third and final site for the trials due to start on January 1

Drug testing about 750 welfare recipients in Mandurah may see no more than 15 people diverted into treatment.

Under the Federal Government's controversial plans, those who test positive once will be put on income management while welfare recipients who test positive twice will be referred to a medical professional for treatment

Department of Social Services officials have revealed to The West only 10 to 15 participants in Mandurah are expected to fail two drug tests during the trial.

Between 50 and 60 welfare recipients are expected to test positive once and be forced onto income management.

If the plans pass the Senate, about 750 people in the City of Mandurah will be tested for cannabis, ecstasy, MDMA, methamphetamine and opiates.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter told The West the Government had been “very clear from the beginning” that it did not expect large numbers of jobseekers to test positive for drugs during the trial.

“This is because the first objective is to have people change their behaviour and avoid drug use when they’re looking for work.

“Where positive results do occur, the goal is to help those people who have not changed their behaviour.”

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