Dole drug tests: What happens if you fail one

 

DRUG addicts have dodged being dobbed in to police after a government agency warned that children could be taken from parents who fail drug tests for the dole.

The Federal Government's Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) flagged fears that the Department of Social ­Services could send drug test results to police or immigration officials.

The commission warned of a "risk of criminal prosecution, visa cancellation, or removal of children with respect to disclosure of information relating to drug test results".

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston. Picture: Lukas Coch
Social Services Minister Anne Ruston. Picture: Lukas Coch

The warning forced the Federal Government yesterday to rule out sending the results to police.

"Details of a positive test result will not be shared with law enforcement agencies," a spokeswoman for Social Services Minister Anne Ruston told The Courier-Mail.

"The intention of the trial is to connect unemployed Australians who may have substance abuse issues with appropriate treatment services, not to put them in contact with the criminal justice system."

The AHRC has also complained that drug tests for the dole - being debated in Federal Parliament - will illegally discriminate against addicts.

"If a drug dependence amounts to a disability, the right to social security must not be limited by way of discrimination,'' it told a Senate inquiry.

In a world-first trial, the Government wants random drug tests for 2500 Newstart and Youth Allowance recipients in Logan. Another 2500 people will be tested for ice, heroin and cannabis in western Sydney and Mandurah, south of Perth.

Those who fail will have 80 per cent of their benefits placed on a card to stop them spending on drugs.

Addicts who fail more than one test in two years will be forced into counselling or drug rehab, and those who refuse a test will be stripped of benefits for a month.