Drug Testing Trial

The Government plans to introduce a drug testing trial in three locations across Australia.

Under the trial 5,000 new recipients of JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance (other) will be tested over the two-year trial period across three locations.

Drug testing will be trialled in Canterbury-Bankstown (NSW), Logan (QLD) and Mandurah (WA).

A $10 million Treatment Fund will be established to provide additional treatment support in these trial locations for job seekers impacted by the trial. The Treatment Fund will provide:

  • $1 million for case management services to help people who return more than one positive drug test result during the trial to access the services and treatment identified in their treatment plan
  • $3 million in funding to boost drug treatment capacity in the three trial sites and respond to any additional treatment demands
  • approximately $6 million in an individual funding pool for accredited treatment support for individuals identified through the trial, in the event state or Commonwealth funded services are not able to be accessed in a timely manner.

The drug testing trial is designed to identify job seekers with drug use issues, help them to access treatment and increase their chances of gaining employment. The trial will better support people with drug use issues to address their barriers to work and ensure the welfare system continues to provide a safety net for those who need it most. The trial and the Treatment Fund are subject to the passage of legislation.

The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2019 (the Bill) was introduced into Parliament on 11 September 2019. On 12 September 2019, the Senate referred the Bill to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report. The Committee’s report was published on 10 October 2019 and recommended that the Bill be passed.

The Bill passed the House of Representatives on 17 October 2019 and was introduced into the Senate on the same day.

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