13th May 2017

Could the Government start drug testing age pensioners?

Could pensioners be drug tested?
Ben Hocking

The Australian Government’s proposed random drug test trial for welfare recipients, announced during Budget 2017/18, could be the first step a slippery slope according to Greens leader Richard Di Natale.

Treasurer Scott Morrison announced last week that he wants 5000 people on Newstart or Youth Allowance to undergo random drug testing in three locations from January next year.

The Government will collect saliva, hair follicles and urine samples to test for traces of drugs including ecstasy, marijuana and ice. If drugs are detected, the user could find their welfare quarantined.

During his Budget reply, Greens leader Di Natale outlined that this harsh and prescriptive treatment of welfare recipients may not stop at the young and unemployed.



“If we open this gateway to government applying a morality test for government support, what is next?” Di Natale asked. “We are setting a very dangerous precedent.

“Imagine failing a drug test because you take a pill at a festival or smoke a joint and losing your HECS funding as a result. Imagine losing access to Medicare or the pension.

“It is a dangerous move by the government, and there is no way it will pass the Senate on our watch.”

Drug counsellors and social service experts have also attacked the welfare proposals, warning that the measures will do little to help the vulnerable and risk driving them to further despair.

Mary Ellen Harrod, the CEO of the NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA) and a board member of the Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL), wrote in The Sydney Morning Herald that the measures could have catastrophic consequences for drug users.

“The evidence tells us social exclusion and punishment are exactly the wrong ways to treat people who experience issues with drug use,” Ms Harrod wrote.

“Targeting people who use drugs with punishments such as the ones proposed by the Treasurer pushes them further to the margins of society and increases the already heavy stigma associated with illicit drug use.”

Independent senator Jacqui Lambie suggested in the wake of the Budget that she would support the drug-testing measures but believes they should be extended to politicians.

“These people up here (Canberra) are paid by the taxpayer as well,” she told Sky News.

“Start leading by example. I don’t see random drug-testing on that side of the house, or the Senate side of the house, when you walk in. Why can’t that be done?”

There are also questions being raised about the cost-effectiveness of the drug-testing scheme and the Government did not release the costings for the proposal, saying they were ‘commercial in-confidence’.

Opinion: Stigmatising welfare recipients is the wrong approach

The Government’s newest attack on welfare recipients smacks of good politics over good policy.

The Government gets to demonise jobseekers while looking like it is getting tough on drug addicts in a cynical exercise that will only exacerbate the problem.

Fortunately, voters appear far too clever to fall for this trick. All of the post-Budget opinion polls show no bounce for the Government, despite several measures that the majority of voters think are fair and reasonable.

A Guardian poll showed 69 per cent support for drug testing jobseekers on Newstart allowance, which is a clear majority, but still a lot lower than what we may have expected.

That is mainly because people are a lot more aware these days that drug addiction is a serious problem, and there are no quick fixes.

As Greens leader Richard Di Natale, who has worked as a drug and alcohol clinician, pointed out in his Budget reply, people addicted to drugs are already at rock bottom.

“By the time someone is addicted to an illicit drug they have often lost their job. Their marriage has often broken-down. They have no contact with their family and they might even have contracted a disease like hepatitis C. They might be living out of their car or on the streets. If all of that is not enough to stop someone from using drugs, what fool thinks that taking away income support is going to succeed?” Di Natale asked.

It is clear that the Government hasn’t introduced this measure to help drug addicts, but rather to try and make the prospect of applying for welfare so unappealing that they don’t bother.

This stigmatising of people on welfare starts with jobseekers, but it doesn’t take long before it starts extending to other forms of welfare, such as the age pension.

If it ever does get that far how will we deal with the issues such as the abuse of prescription medication and medicinal marijuana?

Do you support the drug testing of welfare recipients? Should the Government extend its trial to cover all welfare recipients?

 

Related articles:
Older Australians given incentive to downsize
Pension portability changes scrapped
First home-buyer super saver plan
Age pension residence requirements
Better access to Medicare bulk-billing
Zombie measures dumped
Pension Concession Cards reinstated





COMMENTS

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Newslug
17th May 2017
9:57am
Have to thoroughly agree. Even taking a pill at a music festival is illegal. If anyone. ANYONE. Tests positive to illegal drugs they should lose their benefits . Di Natalie might love to help prop up this scourge on our society, but he should do so I his money, not benefits. Politicians should also undergo random drugs tests
Old Geezer
17th May 2017
10:24am
I agree prescription drugs are some of the worst thanks to the influence of big pharma. Australia must have some of the most expensive urine in the world where 99% of the drugs taken are just flushed down the toilet.

What they don't tell us is that most road accidents are caused by people taking prescription medications or driving tired due tot eh effects of such medications.

Next time a doctor gives you a prescription ask yourself do I really need it or has the doctor just given it to me so I don't feel short changed? I think the later is the real reason inmost cases.
Placido
17th May 2017
10:58am
Get a grip opn yourselves, stop making sweeping ill informed statements, many prescription drugs have no addictive or pain killing components they actually help the patient get over a specific problem. Don't be lazy, go to the detail of what you are attempting to say.
Ella
17th May 2017
10:58am
As a Registered nurse all my life i find many double standards and hypocrisy abounds with the taking of drugs. Believe me there are many professionals and business people including doctors and nurses who use or have used drugs. I'm sure they dont see themselves as a scourge on society. There are many reasons why a person takes drugs including stress ,depression despair and anxiety to name a few. Its a complex problem. Sometimes with young people it may have been peer pressure but its extremely difficult to get off the slippery slope once addicted. It may have led to loss of a job. To persecute these people does not solve the problem. Remember though the only difference between those on newstart and other drug users may just be money and power.
jackie
17th May 2017
11:27am
This drug testing nonsense is this Government's evil agenda of getting rid of the dole and pensions.

The Labor party brought in the pensions, dole, medicare, free public education, fair work rights and conditions with the unions.

The Liberal party's only agenda has been to abolish these rights to benefit the tax avoiding rich and the corporates.
MICK
17th May 2017
11:29am
If you think that there are other than a very small handful of retirees on drugs I'd be willing to bet that this is nothing other than a load of hogwash.
There is not a problem amongst retirees and this is not going to happen. This is a total beat up and sad that a 'story' is being built around a house of cards.
jackie
17th May 2017
12:00pm
Making drugs legal would wipe out the criminals getting rich from drugs and would put an end to the problem.

Portugal’s Example: What Happened After It Decriminalised All Drugs, From Weed to Heroin 16 Years Ago.

https://news.vice.com/article/ungass-portugal-what-happened-after-decriminalization-drugs-weed-to-heroin

This government would not be interested because they are all for anyone that makes lots of money whether that be legal or illegal.
KSS
17th May 2017
1:21pm
jackie decriminalising drugs does not make the problem of drug addiction go away at all. People still take the drugs they want where they want when they want. I agree it reduces the drug-lords' income. However, please note from your own referenced article:

"Drugs are still illegal in Portugal, drug dealers and traffickers are still sent to jail, and the country has carefully kept itself within the confines of the UN's drug convention system that inform national drug laws."

It is not the Utopian solution many people think.
musicveg
17th May 2017
1:27pm
I agree with all of Jackie's comments. Why waste money on drug testing when it should be going to rehab clinics, there are many people who want to get off drugs and cannot find the support especially those who have no family support. Getting drug takers off the dole will only send them to homelessness and crime and will not see them become better citizens and charity organizations will be overwhelmed,as most are already. Home invasion will magnify as people become more desperate. Rehabilitation and support, let's not become a communist country, where will it end if we go down this path.
Reeper
17th May 2017
2:08pm
Oh Jackie, you poor deluded person. It is the Labor party who are now blocking every social advancement on the books for nothing more than political reasons. They have no fiscal plans which will resolve anything but keep that quiet. The old 'tax the rich' is long past it's use by date - when happens when the rich get fed up and take themselves and taxable income overseas?
>
It is no defence to believe taking the dole of drug users will create more crime - much of the petty crime is already committed by drug users with full dole payments.
>
I was on the dole 30 years ago and how did I manage....I paid my rent, fed my family spent most of my days door knocking for jobs, and if I had a couple of dollars left before dole day then I might treat my kids to Maccas or if I had enough, treat all of us.
>
What I didn't do was drink as much of my dole on dole day as I could or shove it up my nose or into my arm and then bang on the dole office door crying.......
HS
17th May 2017
2:09pm
I agree, all politicians should also be subjected to drug tests every 6 months. In addition they should also be subjected to psychopath and sociopath tests before all elections.
Gra
17th May 2017
2:23pm
The only thing Di Natale is worried about is that it may come to pass that politicians also have to submit to drug testing and all the Green MP's would fail.
A lot of people in various types of employment from police officers to mine and railway workers are subject tom drug testing as a condition of their employment so what is wrong with having recipients of unemployment benefits and similar welfare payments subject to those same tests? It would be a good thing in my opinion to weed out the career dole bludgers who believe the government owes them a living.
musicveg
17th May 2017
3:08pm
What a narrow minded comment 'Gra' saying 'all the Green MP's would fail. So ignorant.
MICK
17th May 2017
4:57pm
Reeper: you really are a simple minded soul. You might at least look at some facts before you post your normal right wing BS. Consider:

http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/work/2017/05/16/highest-paid-industries-australia/?utm_source=Responsys&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20170517_TND

As you will see it is THE COALITION which has been running up debt. Labor was actually reducing debt when the media propaganda machine ran it out of office. Don't believe me. The figures are there for you to call them 'leftist' if you like.

And then we have the blatant Class Warfare which both the Abbott and Turnbull governments have been running. In case you looked the other way we are getting tax cuts for the wealthy and a whole raft of NEW taxes for average citizens under the name of 'budget repair'. This is the next lie, one of many.

Please do us all a favour, research before you post. I guess you'll be falling back on that other chestnut of school halls and pink batts. Not much anywhere else to go with the current government. Decent Australians would not touch it with a 10 foot pole but the mentally challenged will likely not let the facts get in the way of supporting their political footy team. Sad.
Triss
17th May 2017
5:05pm
I agree with you 100 per cent, HS, especially psychopathic and sociopathic testing.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
5:44pm
@Musiveg the Greens fail at everything. They are a menace to society.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
7:49pm
I'm proud to say I don't vote for Labor, LNP or Greens...

Gra - what would be the point of drug and alcohol testing social security recipients? It's hardly likely to affect their work performance is it? And if you can't tell over the counter that they are unfit for a job interview - why are you in the business?

And that's only for unemployment beneficiaries - why test pensioners at all unless they are work seekers or on DSP and looking for work... what possible difference could it make to an aged pensioner?
MICK
17th May 2017
8:09pm
Ditto TREBOR.
Polly Esther
18th May 2017
11:19am
No it will not happen !!
The only time aged pensioners may, or will be drug tested, is at a random alcohol and or drug testing site by the police.
The same as every person behind a wheel.
And amen to that.
Kaz
17th May 2017
9:59am
We had to drug test some clients and it became very expensive so only used it when absolutely necessary. I think it's money wasted here.
Phil
17th May 2017
10:02am
The mutual obligation for someone on Newstart receiving other taxpayers money is that they are actively looking for work. That's not an unreasonable request. As Richard D Natali says if that person is addicted to drugs then its likely they are not fulfilling their obligations. These drugs test can identify those people and give them the opportunity to enter a drug rehabilitation program, again provided by the taxpayer. If someone does not want to take up the opportunities provided for them, it may be harsh but sometimes you have to leave people to their own fate. Australian's are extremely generous but the taxpayer can't be expected to carry everyone if they are not willing to contribute to help their own situation.
Too often now people think everything is a right when in fact its a privilege, bestowed by others in the community, and can and should be removed if people choose to abuse it.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
10:43am
They are not receiving someone else's money, Phil - they are taxpayers paying themselves... give them a job and their contribution to the communal pot will be larger.... but at the moment they are down on their luck so as a civilised society we share, as we were taught as children.

Mutual obligation would be all well and good if those demanding it could guarantee a decent living wage job for being good... otherwise it's just plain bullying by one side of the equation.
Placido
17th May 2017
11:02am
Re Old Geezer's repeated comment re "urine being the most expensive in the world" he has lifted that comment from doctors talking about vitamin pills not prescription drugs. Take note most of the prescription drugs for the "elderly" are probably on the PBS and relatively cheap
Old Geezer
17th May 2017
11:13am
Think again. I helped sort out some stuff belonging to an old lady that died. She had a couple of packets of prescription medication unopened. I decided to have a closer look at them. Each packet had 12 tablets and the real cost per packet was $1400.00. So I too them to the chemist that dispersed them and asked if they could e used for someone else. He said that once dispensed they could not be reused even though they were unopened. Talk about waste of taxpayer's money. This lady had many thousands worth of prescription drugs so the mind bogles how much is wasted in throwing these out every year.
Slimmer Cat
17th May 2017
11:38am
Returning drugs to the pharmacy are they are not thrown out but collected by charity groups that work with the people in the South Pacific Islands and possibly Africa and reused. The same as they do with spectacles and text books.
Old Geezer
17th May 2017
11:47am
Nope the pharmacy gave them back to me to throw away.
Slimmer Cat
17th May 2017
12:05pm
Not what happens in Sydney
Slimmer Cat
17th May 2017
12:17pm
This brings up another problem WHY are people allowed to collect prescription drugs. You should not be allowed to get the next script filled within 25 days of the previous script being supplied.
KSS
17th May 2017
12:23pm
Pretty sure that that pharmacist was 100% wrong in giving you the medication intended for someone else and suggesting you dispose of it yourself. Pharmacists would be required to accept it and then it would be disposed of by incineration.

Slimmer Cat what you suggest absolutely cannot happen with unused prescription medication that has already been dispensed once. It is a whole different ball game with spectacles (or other prosthetics such as legs) or text books or anything else.
Slimmer Cat
17th May 2017
12:33pm
I won't argue with you on this on KSS. it is what we were told when we returned drugs after my father and mother-in-law died. We asked what happens to them and was told a charity collects them and they are sent to the islands.
KSS
17th May 2017
1:48pm
Slimmer Cat you might be interested in these links:

http://www.returnmed.com.au/faq/#q3

https://www.nps.org.au/australian-prescriber/articles/safe-disposal-of-prescribed-medicines
HS
17th May 2017
2:04pm
Old Geezer - If you were not the Executor of the deceased's estate, you had no business touching anything that belonged to the deceased, that includes prescription drugs, without the Executor's written permission or the deceased person's solicitor written permission, irrespective of whether you were just helping the deceased. Mind boggles about helpers like this.
Old Geezer
17th May 2017
2:11pm
HS I was the executor of the will so I had every right to do what I did.
Triss
17th May 2017
5:12pm
Yes, Old Geezer, everything comes sealed and bubble packed. If a doctor prescribes an antibiotic for 5 days there will be 7 - 10 days worth of pills in the pack so the excess will wasted.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
7:51pm
Well - you're not supposed to be able to 'hoard' prescription medications, Slimmer - their issue is regulated and monitored by pharmacists.

Perhaps it is a simple as that the old lady wasn't taking her medication and thus ran up a stock of pills or whatever....
Triss
17th May 2017
8:59pm
Or perhaps, Trebor, she was given a prescription even if she didn't want it so she didn't take it.
I swear I've nearly had stand upfights insisting I'm not ill, not in pain and I don't want medicating even if he thinks that at my age I should be on 14 different pills a day.
Jurassicgeek
17th May 2017
10:05am
I dont care if they test me ..they wont find anything.. I am a pensioner I think pollies and long term welfare recipients including migrants should be tested ...
downunder
17th May 2017
11:38am
Especially Pollies!!!
FEDUP
17th May 2017
10:14am
Drug testing of Aged Pensioners, is both impractable and would prove far too costly. The main reason is that, if most pensioners are like me, and I would say, I am a normal Pensioner. Each would be on a cocktail of drugs, as prescribed by our Doctor. I for instance have to devour 14 tablets a day, plus have an injection for Diabetes. I also take Hydralyte, for my kidneys, as well as a vitamin supplement, to assist with my diet. To my way of thinking, it is understandable that some in our communities, that are hooked on drugs, do not look for work, and spend their dole on drugs. However what is the cost to do the analysis for the 5000 in 3 areas? Let alone the Aged Pensioners, should that come into force.
Maybe a better thing would be to reintroduce "National Service" for both sexes, this would reduce the dole queues overnight, people would then be able to learen a trade, or at least commence a trade course. Maybe even some would stay in the Army, Navy or the Airforce.
At least that way, they would be, those that stayed in the navy, be able to man the obsolete submarines and patrol boats that are being built at great expense to our budget.
There are better ways to spend money than to dope test welfare recipients.
Old Geezer
17th May 2017
10:19am
You are hooked on drugs and your urine must be some of the most expensive in the country. Far too many people take far too many poisons that are completely unnecessary. Nothing beats exercise and proper diet instead of poisoning yourself with a cocktail of drugs.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
3:56pm
@OG , excercise, heaven forbid!!
Triss
17th May 2017
5:18pm
Drug testing by force must be assault. I can see some expensive class actions along the way. Unfortunately taxpayers will have to foot the bill and the payouts not the no good pollies drunk on power.
TREBOR
19th May 2017
12:53pm
Perhaps I could market my urine as a cure-all for cardiac problems.....

....one drink of Dr Trebor's Elixir will give you everything you need to combat crowded arteries and valves fluttering in the wind... first time buyers special - two bottled for the price of one!!

(product may contain traces of alcohol).....
Couldabeen
19th May 2017
3:40pm
replying to TREBOR.there is already a significant market for fake urine. It can be purchased with the realistic "willy" to be worn with a fluid pouch filled with the clean "urine" for those working in industries where there are frequent urine drug tests (and sports too I expect). The apparatus is convincing enough such that from across the room, unless you were already an "intimate" friend of the person providing the sample, the casual observer would not realise all was not as nature had made them.
TREBOR
19th May 2017
11:13pm
Damn - I thought you were going to talk about the preverts who like a 'golden shower'... (the mind truly boggles)....

Is that a pistol in your pocket or are you just about to give a urine sample?
TREBOR
17th May 2017
10:40am
Well - people who use 'recreational' or 'hard' drugs have always been stupid in my eyes... I'll drink to that!

What earthly purpose could there be to drug test old aged pensioner, superannuants, and all retirees (equal treatment under the law)... let the old bastards fade away into a smoke-filled haze if they wish...

Next they'll start saying that those with lined faces etc have caused it themselves through sun exposure and smoking and stuff....

Where DOES a Fascist-minded State get off treating its sheep like people who can be ordered about at whim? (snuckle)... these people have the mindset of a concentration camp guard.. and before anyone tells me they are really nice men and women - remember that concentration camp guards would go home and confide with their wife over their onerous duties that just had to be done for the greater good of the state - poor darlings...

We are entering a very dangerous time in governance in this nation - one in which the extremist thinkers ARE taking over..... been smoking too much pot if you ask me...

They need to drug test politicians who come up with this kind of wacky idea.
Old Geezer
17th May 2017
10:50am
Trebor it would surprise you how many oldies are on prohibited drugs. Many around here brew their own potent oils and beverages.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
11:26am
Aye - the Glen Oldey is a fine drop... distilled from the finest grains... eases the pain in the old joints.... arrrghh..
Slimmer Cat
17th May 2017
11:46am
Many workers are drug tested before they start a shift. Mine workers, train drivers etc. The major problem with people on prescription drugs
is that once you get take more than 3 different types for different complaints the drugs interact with each other and whilst you might feel you are perfectly legal you could be well gone. Drug testing on the roads should done every time a random breath test is done.
KSS
17th May 2017
12:36pm
Whoa there TREBOR. There is absolutely no suggestion that this or any other Government is considering drug testing pensioners except from Mr Di Natale (and then further scaremongered by this site).

That's the Mr Di Natale who presides over a political party that wants to legalise all drug taking. In the meantime they want to stop the police and courts from enforcing the current law that prohibits the trafficking, selling and taking certain drugs plus they want to encourage drug taking at festivals by making 'testing' of the drug before taking it freely and widely available.
George
17th May 2017
1:29pm
Agree mostly, TREBOR. Scaremongering by an idiot (Di Natale) is not unexpected. However, this Govt's Treasurer brought up the whole idea of drug testing, and needs to justify it. If that is to be useful, it should apply to all who get income from the Govt i.e. taxpayer's support, AND NEED to PERFORM functions in return, such as Politicians, all Govt employees (especially the ones bringing up such moronic policies), Judges, Dole recipients missing interviews, etc. Clearly, Aged Pensioners do not need to PERFORM any functions to claim pensions, hence Di Natale needs a head-check (funny, as he is a doctor making such wild statements).
musicveg
17th May 2017
1:35pm
No KSS testing at music festivals will prevent overdoses and deaths in some cases, it has been proven overseas. It does not encourage more drug taking as they will take them anyway. Mr Di Natale wants help for drug takers and treating them as criminals is not the answer. More rehab and education is needed, not too mention more nutrition, a lot of drug addicts are lacking in basic nutrition which affects their cravings.
KSS
17th May 2017
1:41pm
musicveg even the manufacturers of the so called 'drug test kits' admit they cannot guarantee that a tested tablet will not cause someone to overdose or die as a result of taking it whether at a festival in a club or even in your own bedroom.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
7:55pm
Bdetter to get in early and let them know it is a stupid idea, KSS - so they won't be able to come up with this nonsensical idea when they need something to distract from another disaster in government...

In political circles, it's called 'throwing canard on the floor' .. meaning if things are too hot in the kitchen, distract the floor by throwing a rotting dead duck on it... that'll take their minds off the heat....
TREBOR
18th May 2017
12:21am
My apologies:-

That's:- 'throwing a canard in the ring'.....
Renny
17th May 2017
10:56am
So you're happy to spend millions to catch a tiny number of offenders from the most disadvantaged minority in our country. Look at UK, NZ, US experience. It costs a fortune. I hope the money is coming out of your pensions, even if it means it comes out of mine to. We have turned into the most hateful, nasty, mean and horrible country. No wonder people are so angry at boomers. No empathy. There are no damned jobs and addiction is an illness. Over 29% youth unemployment where I live. Enjoy the crime wave. I'm unsubscribing from this site because all the nasty ugly worms have come out of the woodwork. Fascists.
grounded
17th May 2017
11:30am
Fascists!!!!.....Really Renny.....You sound as if your on dope!

Perhaps this suggested Dope Testing might not be such a bad idea after all...!
musicveg
17th May 2017
1:38pm
I agree addiction is an illness, brought on by lack of support, education, opportunities, and lack of proper nutrition. Will drug testing create more jobs or more crime?
niemakawa
17th May 2017
4:01pm
Now now don't spit the dummy. Addiction is self inflicted and where illicit drugs are used then it is also a criminal offence. Lock them up and let them sweat it out "cold turkey".
Frank
17th May 2017
6:32pm
If you want to do dope testing, then start the test on Di Natalie. Just to get the testing off to a positive start. lol
TREBOR
17th May 2017
7:55pm
I seems Di Natale needs a head check....
MICK
17th May 2017
8:10pm
Dope test? Can't go past a lot of the front bench if you are looking for real dopes. Is that political?
TREBOR
17th May 2017
11:26pm
**falls about laughing**
niemakawa
17th May 2017
11:29pm
@TREBOR he probably prefers a head J**
TREBOR
18th May 2017
12:22am
@niemie **swoons and dreams of days long past.. the glory days**
the old bag
17th May 2017
11:07am
there is no problem drug testing age pensioners. it would only be a problem if they doing the wrong thing. also the politician should
TREBOR
17th May 2017
7:56pm
To achieve what? Make a list of how many pensioners take drugs or drink? **slurps down beer**
TREBOR
17th May 2017
7:56pm
To achieve what? Make a list of how many pensioners take drugs or drink? **slurps down beer**
Old Man
17th May 2017
11:13am
What a long bow has been drawn. It is typical of this site to take thought bubbles from people and turn them into scaremongering. Nobody has ever suggested that pensioners will be drug tested and in any event what would be the point.

I cannot believe that there are those who support drug taking, especially those, like Di Natale, who are in a position to make or change the laws of this country. Why hasn't Di Natale put forward a Bill to legalise those drugs he is now championing? When a law is broken there should be consequences and if that means a loss of money, liberty, employment or assets then the fault lies with the person who broke the law, not the person who caught them.

Slightly off topic, there is another group which needs to be discussed. It's the group of elite sportspeople and those in the entertainment industry who get caught with illegal drugs and get the courts to not record a conviction as it may stop them travelling to some countries for their work or sport. Why don't these people get treated the same as the average person who are stopped from some employment because of a conviction being properly recorded.

The term "recreational use" should be banned as it suggests that it's OK to use illegal drugs because it's all just a bit of fun. I have always believed that if a law is unfair it should still be respected but action should be taken to change it. If illegal drugs are safe then governments should be lobbied to change the law. If people want to break the law by using illegal drugs then they must accept the consequences.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
11:35am
Better to let the deep thinkers in government know that the well is poisoned BEFORE they try to drink of it and spread disease to the entire population... that's why we're here...

Big sign:- "No Pensioner Drug Testing Allowed!"
Old Man
17th May 2017
12:47pm
Aw TREBOR, you crack me up - "deep thinkers in government". Isn't that an oxymoron?
musicveg
17th May 2017
1:40pm
Legal drugs are just as dangerous if not more. My brother died from a cocktail of prescription drugs giving to him by a doctor. Legal drugs are causing just as much if not more damage to our community than illegal drugs.
Misty
17th May 2017
6:21pm
Yes just look at all the famous people, singers, actors and actresses etc that have died from legal prescription meds, either accidental or intentional.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
7:58pm
Yes - you hit the nail on the head there, OM.... it was intended as a witticism...
Triss
17th May 2017
9:10pm
You missed the p off off _oxymoron, Old Man.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
11:28pm
It's the Silent P, same as the one in front of "politician rick"...
TREBOR
19th May 2017
11:17pm
Nice turn of phrase for yez re 'whinging' on forums like this:-

You don't take a canary down in the mine in the hope it will die - you take it down to offer warning that YOU will die...

So when we ring the parish bells out here to warn of invasion..... we are doing our duty to the nation.. later we'll light the beacon fires on the hills....

D'ye nae hear the pipes callin' the clans... prepare yehselves, lads!
4b2
17th May 2017
11:17am
This highlights the current government’s attacks on the most vulnerable. Always go for low hanging fruit. The pushback from the Banking industry shows what the position the government would be in if they cashed up the big end of town (those with the wealth and legal backup to fight back). Drug testing in the workplace should be mandatory for certain jobs but irrelevant for others. Should Boards be drug and alcohol tested prior to board meetings, council members prior to council meetings, Senators meeting after hours, etc.
MICK
17th May 2017
5:00pm
You are highlighting a part of the problem. The irony is that if the current government were not being held ransom to election funding from the big end of town it might actually govern in the interests of the nation not the interests of the rich. I doubt that is going to happen until we make electoral funding (= buying politicians) in all its forms illegal.
Not Senile Yet!
17th May 2017
11:23am
Whilst you and I think they are trying to make people more accountable for the Tax payers support! The opposite is actually happening! They are punishing people and removing their support/connectivity!
Would be okay if they offered some sort of Re-Habilitation/Drug Treatment for withdrawal Plan....but they won't....don't now......so what is the Point????
To Save Money...yet again????
Yes and No????
Look further....ask questions???
Who is going to do the Drug Testing????
Oh now you get it .....Yep this will be out sourced to a Private Company via contract!!!!
BIG BUCKS and big profit from your Tax going to Private Enterprise!!!!
Who is being Sneaky here????
Privatisation by stealth of Centrelink.....next they will deny that they hire Private Firms to Investigate people....again out sourcing the tax dollar to Private Enterprise!!!
And just who do these people answer to....what policing is done to make sure they do not cheat/break rules.....rig results....etc etc!
This drug testing does not pass the SNIFF Test!!!
No does to comply with the Governments Laws on Discrimination!!!
IT IS A CON TO SPEND YOUR TAX AND SEND IT TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR!!!
musicveg
17th May 2017
1:43pm
I agree, it is a con, better send that money to build more rehab centres, it is desperately needed, many drug addicts want to quit but without support they get back on them. Crime then increases and we will all be affected.
MICK
17th May 2017
5:03pm
I keep calling this by its correct name, Class Warfare. This is how you subjugate citizens.
I believe that systems which are being abused need to be fixed but of course that only ever applies to average citizens whilst this lot look the other way when the crooked top end of town ply their trade. That is why the banks will not face a Royal Commission under this government despite the public wanting one.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
12:29am
"This is how you subjugate citizens. "

Bring in private police and move the ability of the ordinary Joe Bloggs out of the ring, while enriching your own selected group, too, so as to ensure the inability of the rabble to rise up in revolt, and hand all power in society to your selected group (yes - the CIA knocked me back for a job once - fools)... who are the cops going to respond to? An indigent protestor outside wailing for a feed or the mate of a politician in a suit sitting in a fancy office paid for by the poverty of the protestor?

Labor do the same thing - sorry to say. Once they used to be the Labour Party... now they are sidewalk cafe` student Labor - and became Labor after they took the 'U' out of the equation...

The Greens - well - while they have some basic ideas, the rest seems to be shrouded in smoke rings...

So it's us 'n them on all sides now...

New party needed....
niemakawa
18th May 2017
12:37am
@TREBOR a military coup is needed in Australia and a new party formed from the resultant decimation of the traitorous politicians who have brought misery to us all. A new beginning. The day of reckoning is not too far away the masses will revolt across the globe. I am ready and waiting.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
8:30am
Unfortunately for the West, niemie, that kind of thing, in one form or another, may be the only way out. I'm not joking.... I don't advocate armed revolution, endless queues of the 'New Enemies Of The State' (the old guard) lined up at the scaffold or awaiting their turn at the wall, and the establishment of gulags, and am more than aware that such things always get out of control and power ends up in 'the wrong hands' again.. but unless somebody comes along with a real plan other than using political position as an enrichment exercise for self and family and cronies - this nation (and many others) must inevitably fall apart.

Every day brings a new revelation of a 'nice little earner business opportunity' out of public funds, being handed to an old political mate or family member or crony, and most of it coming from the clearly failed policy of 'privatisation' - look at who benefits from the 'cashless card' directly - the taxpaying public pay for both ways, and then suffer unemployment and under-employment because they need more income to just get by, while being forced to compete with people on 10% or less than their average hourly rate.

All of this is clearly a deliberate policy platform of shifting as much public funds from the ordinary people to a self-appointed group of insiders and cronies - who are laughing all the way to the bank. This is something that would make a Central American dictator proud of his work and that of his friends/family, even up to and including removing $130bn from this economy to an offshore haven to sideline into an account to benefit self/friends/family - and is precisely what lead to the formation of the original Mafia in Sicily. (interesting sidelight - no - I'm not Italian/Sicilian).

Unsustainable... but beeziness ees good in El Grando Republica da San Austrador .... the peons may starve or we make them creemeenals .... 'specially the upstart communists who want change...
Wombat66
17th May 2017
11:23am
This is a sad and unsolvable problem. If you take the payments away from drug addicts they have to get their money for their drugs from somewhere and I fear that it would only lead to more bashings and home invasions - usually against older people as they are soft targets. If their payments could be put towards rehab maybe it would help but there doesn't seem to be enough rehab establishments anyway. Like I say a sad and unsolvable problem.
musicveg
17th May 2017
1:45pm
Yes this is what a lot of people don't realize that taking money away is not going to achieve anything except more crime, and older people are definitely an easier target. My mum had a turn once outside a supermarket and someone who offered to help stole her purse.
KSS
17th May 2017
1:51pm
Thay are not taking money away. The suggestion is to put it on welfare cards that can only be spent on items such as rent, food, bills etc, not drugs or alcohol. They would still have some welfare payment in cash like the pilot programs in SA Aboriginal communities.
Frank
18th May 2017
8:10am
Wombat why waste your intellect on trying to balance the square poops?
You don't know how people will react to a government making it tougher to buy drugs with taxpayers money.
What we do know is that people behave in accordance with the expectation of others. And as such if we know about a chronic antisocial behavioural trend and do nothing then that is the same as a positive reinforcement, which will accelerate a proliferation.
Even if the action is only symbolic, it sends a message that the behaviour is unacceptable.
Every problem has a solution.
happy
17th May 2017
11:30am
Tired of all the bleeding hearts re poor drug addicts. So hard for them. They are addicts because they broke the law not just once but many times before they became addicted. Why should the government provide not only a living but also their rehab.
musicveg
17th May 2017
1:48pm
They are not addicts because they broke the law, becoming an addict is much more complicated than this. It is a health problem and we need more rehab and support to prevent more crime like home invasions which are on the increase.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
1:49pm
@musiveg it is a criminal offence and should be dealt with as such.
MICK
17th May 2017
5:13pm
Nobody ever seems to care about the victims of drug addicts. The do gooders may have empathy but there has to be a point where the victims of what was a lifestyle choice need to be considered.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
5:20pm
@MICK , victims of crimes are never considered these days. Always the perpetrators that get the attention and help. It seems the criminals are never blamed for their criminal activities, but society has made them this way. Codswallop. What a fine mess. Do-gooders and snowflakes IMO are also criminals.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
8:01pm
Yes - some bloke who encouraged two others to help him beat a man to death got four years because he was in a 'psychotic state' at the time..... one of the other guys got fifteen - still not enough.

I'm truly amazed that violent people can get a walk while Joe Bloggs can be accused and trussed up for nothing and with no leniency from the 'courts'... as long as he pays his way with cash....
MICK
17th May 2017
8:12pm
I am wondering if Christopher Skase handed his oxygen bag down. Seems that this is what everybody uses these days plus a loss of memory....the Bond legacy. No not James.....
TREBOR
17th May 2017
11:30pm
I... I... I... (weeps silently)... I.. don'... don't ... r...member... (collapses on stand into a pitiful semblance of a man)....
niemakawa
17th May 2017
11:36pm
Shoot the B&%T**#S
pedro the swift
17th May 2017
11:34am
I have no problem drug testing people who are getting mt tax dollars for nought.
As a industrial worker we had to undergo drug test regularly as do many workers. we now drug test drivers, truckies etc so whatthe problem with testing welfare reciepients?. if they can afford to spend taxpayers money on drugs they can afford to get some work.
I suggest we also start testing ALL politicians and those who make decisions for us.
Sundays
17th May 2017
11:38am
Di Natalie is a scare mongerer. This man couldn't care less about age pensioners. It was the Greens who sided with the Government to reduce the Asset threshold. Not supporting the bill on drug testing for Newstart recipients has nothing to do with those on the OAP and there is no suggestion by the Government that it will. Drugs are a complex problem, test them and offer rehab but if it's just to punish further what is the point. I'd rather see those fit and healthy people who refuse to work have their dole payments cut
KSS
17th May 2017
1:24pm
I agree Sundays. Mr Di Natale has taken lessons from the Mediscare 101 handbook on Mr Shorten's bookshelf.
MICK
17th May 2017
5:17pm
Playing politics KSS. You leave yourself open to reminders about pink batts, school halls, budget repair and trickle down economics.
Both sides have their faults....which is why I do not vote for either, but the current crop is about as dishonest and corrupt a government you could ever get short of a dictatorship.
Frank
17th May 2017
6:38pm
KSS, it's so hard to tell the difference between Greens and Labor these days.
MICK
17th May 2017
8:13pm
KSS< it's so hard to tell the difference between a Coalition government and a dictatorship these days.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
8:34am
Every cloud of government money has a silver-heeled clod lining his pockets........
Misty
18th May 2017
11:25am
Frank don't you mean hard to tell the difference between the Coalition and Labor these days?, especially after the budget, backstabbing, backbench unrest, ex pm causing strife, certainly hard to tell the difference these days.
inextratime
17th May 2017
11:38am
Drugs. A very difficult problem for all western societies. Random testing will solve nothing. Ask anyone involved with young people addicted to drugs and you will not get much support for this move as the problem of illicit drug use is far more complicated than most people understand. Another policy made on the run without consulting the drug rehabilitation experts. Populist politics at it worse.
musicveg
17th May 2017
1:49pm
I agree.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
5:49pm
Harsh measures will only solve the problem, not all the grandstanding by the establishment and its followers. Hit them hard so they will not forget.
Fairness
17th May 2017
11:43am
It is a shame that politicians don't look for a few more positives to achieve..really scraping bottom of barrel to want to drug test age pensioners!! Financing legal medication required is enough.. medical practitioners warn when prescribing, so incidence probably minimal. Far higher likelihood among politicians who CAN AFFORD. Why not devote their energies into something positive for the population!!!
MICK
17th May 2017
5:18pm
Class Warfare in action. Give to the rich, don't collect taxes from the top end and hit everybody else.
hippymarl
17th May 2017
11:45am
This is a terrible moralistic and unfair proposal. There is a vest difference between recreational substance use, and addiction.Problems can be caused by both legal and illicit substances Some of our elected officials have been observed to demonstrate a frequent inappropriate and excessive,use of alcohol in particular, endangering others and adversely affecting their capacities. Problem users of any substance should be treated, not demonized and persecuted by those we pay to provide fair and equitable services for ALL Australians.
musicveg
17th May 2017
1:50pm
Yes alcohol causes much more damage to society and has always been that way.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
8:01pm
I'll drink to that!!
inextratime
17th May 2017
11:45am
Old Geezer.. you are an expert on everything. What's your qualifications regarding drug ingestion ? I hate the thought of taking even an aspirin and my medical history suggests I should be on a stack of medication, however I would never suggest that others should be as adverse to drugs as you or myself. Once again your superiority complex comes to the fore.
Old Geezer
17th May 2017
12:01pm
The only qualification that really matters. Experience of watching and observing.

I can't take aspirins either without side effects. I have regular scans due to my cancer treatment and it has them wondering how I can even walk at all let alone bush walk for miles. I also have low blood pressure which is a problem as most medications actually lower your blood pressure. Not a problem as most people have high blood pressure so no GP thinks about that when writing those scripts. Nothing worse than taking one pill and spending the next week in hospital.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
8:05pm
I apparently have a heart valve problem, and can't walk far without pain... and I still have people challenging me over my right to a disabled parking permit.. Can't walk up a hill I would have run up easily once... mind you I was on disability at 48, took three years to walk unaided again, too, and I've never looked better.

My response to the critics? "OK, I'll call us a cop and let him sort it out then!"

I've always been loath to even take an aspirin, but it seems I have little choice these days...
Supernan
17th May 2017
11:54am
My main fear about this legislation is that it will increase crime. Desparate people will take desparate action. So there will be an increase in house breaking, mugging & petty theft. And who will they pick on most ? The elderly & disabled.
George
17th May 2017
1:33pm
Yep! Melbourne is already a basket-case with such crime from people who can't get jobs. They need to stop immigration from Africa & Middle East (who then go on the dole), as employers are clearly not willing to give jobs to people whose looks they don't like.
MICK
17th May 2017
5:20pm
Drug addicts already are involved in crime Supernan. They have no morals and even steal from those who have loved and nurtured them into adulthood. That is the irony.
iamnotold
17th May 2017
12:05pm
A stupid idea not worthy of comment (except this one)!
niemakawa
17th May 2017
5:04pm
It's a laugh a minute on here get involved.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
8:06pm
I often find myself laughing like a kookaburra at the political news on the tellie... hilarious the antics some of these politicians get up to...
shirboy
17th May 2017
12:06pm
What if a single parent widower who is supporting 4 children is tested positive for cannabis?
Old Geezer
17th May 2017
12:07pm
Take the children away so they can be looked after.
musicveg
17th May 2017
1:53pm
Don't be ridiculous OG, cannabis smoking does not make you a bad parent, so narrow minded.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
1:54pm
You can take them if you are that concerned.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
8:07pm
Fling the children into a snowdrift and hang their mother, their sole support in life.... stop the scraps from the kitchens for the orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and cancel Christmas!!!
Triss
17th May 2017
9:19pm
Musicveg, is there an element of passive smoking with cannabis? If so it might make you a bad parent.
Triss
17th May 2017
9:19pm
Musicveg, is there an element of passive smoking with cannabis? If so it might make you a bad parent.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
9:21pm
What's a single parent doing with 4 children in the first place!!!!!!!!
Triss
17th May 2017
9:23pm
Old Geezer, the number of children who have been traumatised, injured and even killed when they're taken away from their parents by the so called Dept for kids' safety is horrific. Modern 'stolen children' processes are something I'd never agree with.
Triss
17th May 2017
9:26pm
Niemakawa, they probably weren't single parents originally. Couples split up or one partner dies, very few folk set out to be single parents.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
9:27pm
@Triss it seems you do not care about the welfare of the children. They MUST be taken away.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
9:29pm
@Triss, I beg to differ I suspect many single parents , mainly women, have chosen that lifestyle, with a bit on the side for extra support.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
11:32pm
Countless reasons, niemie.... countless reasons...
ex PS
18th May 2017
10:43am
Good idea O.G, how much do you want to spend on welfare? Who is going to look after these kids and how many will be abused because the system will not be able to cope?
Triss
18th May 2017
12:10pm
niemakawa I think I've proved I care about welfare of children. You insist they must be taken away. Where to? Given to whom to care for them? Seriously, as I wrote earlier, check how many young children have been seriously injured, abused, killed when in the care of the so called safety of the Dept of kids safety. Taking children away from parents is not always the best for their welfare. And if you truly are thinking of the child's welfare have you thought of the fear when being hauled away from a parent by a total stranger and given to strangers?
I think you and I are going to have to agree to differ on this one.
Jess M
17th May 2017
12:11pm
Drug addition is a health issue and should be treated as such. To take any payment away will only lead to theft surely. People addicted have to have it and will steal if necessary to get it.
Treat it as any other addition, it is a health issue just like gambling, and over eating. People need help, not punishment.
musicveg
17th May 2017
1:55pm
Yes it is a health issue, and money should go to rehab and support not punishment that will lead to more theft.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
1:59pm
It is not a health issue it is a crime. Get real.
MICK
17th May 2017
5:21pm
Actually it is both.
Triss
17th May 2017
9:29pm
People can get support and help for depression, bi-polar and any number of non-physical ailments but drug addiction seems to be the poor relation.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
9:33pm
@Triss, self-inflicted. Would you take an addict into your home and help them. ?
TREBOR
18th May 2017
12:33am
Would an addict take me into HIS home and help me?

There's the rub....
niemakawa
18th May 2017
12:39am
@TREBOR yes as long as your wallet is full. And you may get a rub gratis.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
8:39am
Would anyone dare take even a rub from an obvious addict.. brrrrrrrr???
Frank
18th May 2017
8:45am
musicveg, I don't think I like the idea of being held to ransom by the drug addicts. Just so they can introduce a decline in our social fabric. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me? How did you come by that reasoning?
Triss
18th May 2017
12:20pm
No, I wouldn't take an addict into my home. I also don't have any sympathy with them. Like you, niemakawa, I believe it's self inflicted and I've no patience, but if they truly need a bit of help to cure themselves then perhaps it should be given.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
1:42pm
"Welcome to Camp Trebor", strides along the ragged line of miscreants doing their boot camp, "Jesus, Hell and Mary - I can see now why we lost at the goddamned Eureka Stockade... look at you lot.. can any of you tie a boot lace? Well, you will, maggots - after you first learn to polish your boots so I can shave in 'em!

Now - in an hour's time you'll be getting breakfast! In the meantime - we're running Currahee! Three miles up and three miles down, and I want you maggots all back here in thirty minutes for your first run! Some of you'll be sweating yellow in the first five minutes, but if you don't make it.. you're out of Camp Trebor, and it's Camp Mick with the whips or Camp Niemie with the firing squad...... we do so love to motivate our people here ...so button up, button down - and let's get running!"
sirrom
17th May 2017
12:12pm
your article is typical media - trying to stir up trouble- no need to bring up drug testing on pensioners- this has never been considered. so why don't you report more important information.
And as for Jackie (11.27 am) wake up girl Labor may have instigaged some things but they never fund most of them run the country into debt and then criticise the Coalition for trying to fix the mess AND improve Labors bodgy systems - and yes sometimes get rid of some so that they can bring in better systems.
Misty
17th May 2017
1:52pm
And what has the Coaltion done?, run up heaps more debt too they are not fixing anything except their own salaries and helping out Big Business CEO'S keep theirs.
MICK
17th May 2017
5:22pm
Correct, not that you will hear this in the mainstream media. Here is the proof:

http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/work/2017/05/16/highest-paid-industries-australia/?utm_source=Responsys&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20170517_TND
TREBOR
18th May 2017
12:37am
All these 'business opportunity' handouts to their mates all need to be funded by borrowed money - that's bad debt if ever I saw it...

It's just a way of channeling public money into the hands of a self-appointed elite group of cronies - and the major parties show little difference there.

Childcare - Anthony's son and Rudd's wife... same deal.. cash in on insider trading.... make millions from it out of public borrowings....

Privatise this.. privatise that - raise the costs of everything then whine about the upward pressure on falling wages and hours of work.... while downing your lobster with fine wine or scotch.... all paid for out of public borrowings or the public's ever-decreasing hand.....

Now I'm good and mad.....
Play Fairly
17th May 2017
12:18pm
I doubt this government would ever be so stupid as to suggest drug testing of Aged Pensioners......but there again, we are not dealing with a "commonsense government" either. Grandma and Grandad have trouble sleeping soundly at night, and because a sound sleep is paramount for good health, they will need to take a sleeping tablet that their Doctor has wisely prescribed. As we all know, this scenario is very common. Other Aged Pensioners suffer great pain and discomfort from severe ailments like Osteo & Rheumatoid Arthritis, and need pain pills to allow them to keep mobile. These medications WILL show up on drug testing.
Should the government ever throw caution to the wind and indulge themselves to such a punitive level and find Aged Pensioners guilty of taking their medications or sleeping tablets, then the government should be locked up in mental institutions.
Dr. Di Natale is a respected medical professional, and if he believes that drug testing of people on benefits would create a dangerous president, then I think we owe it to his professional judgement and expertise and take heed of his warning.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
8:08pm
"I doubt this government would ever be so stupid as to"........

Let me think about that for a while....
Play Fairly
17th May 2017
9:14pm
Auto correct got me again....I meant "create a dangerous precident".
Anyway you know what I mean.
Trebor, you are right about people needing to take medication in order to keep living a somewhat normal life. Some people do not fully understand what unrelenting pain is until they experience it themselves, so I guess all those who are "cracking hardy" that they never take medications, are not really suffering chronic pain. Overall, as I have commented before, I cannot punderstand this government's demonstrated punitive attitude towards Centrelink clients. The "fake debt" fiasco makes my blood boil, and the fact that the government spent $15million on a contract with Debt Collectors to recover monies from people who did not owe anything, is appalling. I have heard of 2 people who received these "fake debt" notices who could not cope with the pressure and took their own lives. This is a terrible thing for any government to do to the citizens of this country. The Aussie thumb rule of giving a "fair go" is disappearing very fast. Is Fascism here to stay now?
Triss
17th May 2017
9:46pm
It's called dehumanising, Play Fairly.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
11:34pm
Yes - the dangerous president is in North Korea or the US.. waiting on the call from the bunker to see which.....
TREBOR
17th May 2017
11:39pm
Oh - re-read - we're on the same page there... I very often point out the startling similarities between government here and Fascism.... it's in the attitude, and the difference is only one of degree and not of kind.

Our government doesn't send socially undesirables to a gulag/konzenstrationslager - it merely starves them to death by refusing them sustenance.... very like the konzentrationslageren.

Been watching Band of Brothers again.... are you criminals? No - socialists, unionists, gypsies, sexual deviates whom we all hate... Juden..... enemies of the State.....
TREBOR
17th May 2017
11:42pm
Oh - another alternative is to force them into a life of crime and then sweep them off the streets - if the prisons are over-crowded, use the South American solution and send out death squads of Rojites (that's the title for Right wing death squads in my book Guatemala - part of a series), to cleanse the filth from the streets.

Look for your desaparecidos (disappeared) on the garbage heap outside town.... no need to look too hard - you weell smell them...
dougie
17th May 2017
12:38pm
By the time a person with substance abuse problems becomes a full blown welfare recipient it is usually too late to help them.
However I do not think that it taxpayers duty to provide funds for the drug dealers and others who pray on the weakness of those who are addicted.
I have always said when dealing with these people who are afflicted with dependency problems that "I do not look down on nor condemn them only the people who make their life a misery by preying on them."
Maybe a little more effort into catching the major players and sending them away for long periods would be more beneficial.
Beeman
17th May 2017
12:58pm
It sounds like a highly improbable suggestion designed to cause controversy and take our minds off something more sinister.
floss
17th May 2017
12:59pm
Yes can you imagine the amount of damage Granny could with her walking frame high as a kite.
Old Geezer
17th May 2017
1:39pm
You haven't been in a nursing home then.
Frank
17th May 2017
2:34pm
Yes floss, you're talking through yer teeth.
Foxy
17th May 2017
5:22pm
.. ohhhhh do people in nursing homes have teeth? Wow!
Just tongue in "cheek" or tongue in "teeth" - hahahaaa - sorry - :-)
MICK
17th May 2017
5:23pm
Funny.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
8:09pm
.. and there will be a gnashing of gums....
ex PS
18th May 2017
10:45am
How do you think they control the wanderers and the dementia patients prone to self damage and damage to others. They dope them up to the eyeballs.
Misty
18th May 2017
2:25pm
They don't do that anymore at the Aged Care Facility in our town, I was told it was banned, no strapping into their chairs and no tranquilisers allowed.
floss
17th May 2017
1:04pm
A huge amount of our prescription drugs end up overseas it has become a real racket.
KSS
17th May 2017
1:27pm
And most of that is by individuals taking it overseas to family members because it is either cheaper here or not available there.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
1:11pm
Can always give them the Duerte Treatment, that will save the Government billions!!!!!
KSS
17th May 2017
1:14pm
Ben Hocking is no doubt rocking back and forth with laughter in his office chair at those who have responded to his overblown and utterly false 'reporting' with the 'fauxtrage' we have come to expect.

Almost all of you needlessly up in arms about drug testing pensioners are confusing prescribed medication and what are currently illicit drugs. Drug testing for illicit drugs does not pick up prescribed medication (unless it is an opium derivative for example) and certainly not diabetes or arthritis or blood pressure medications. Any anomaly could quickly be explained and evidenced by the person's GP.

The profile of the drug addicted, homeless, jobless, depressed as described those who would see this issue as a health problem could not be further from the truth for the large percentage of illicit drug users/abusers. Mary Ellen Harrod could attest to the many thousands of high functioning employed habitual drug users. Music festival goers, footballers, rock stars, accountants, shop assistants, doctors (some of the worst abusers of drugs - even 'legal' ones), lawyers, Uni students (even some high school and primary school kids) and so on hardly fit the sterotypical profile of the 'drug addict'.

As far as I am concerned, if someone is taking welfare and using excuses of being too drunk or too high to attend job interviews or other appointments, then they have breached their side of the contract and deserve to suffer the consequences. The suggestion is that they be drug tested and, if found to have taken illicit drugs, be put on the welfare card (which by the way has been very positively tested and accepted on the pilot Aboriginal communities) is a sensible one. After all they would still receive some cash but their basic needs would have to be met with the welfare card. I see no issue with that.

I don't see much of a problem with testing all welfare recipients as part of the application process and criteria you have to meet. I would rather support those who are prepared to help themselves than those who just want to swallow, inhale or inject the welfare dollar into their body and expect others to 'pick up the tab'.

However, for those caught taking illicit drugs, I would like to see them enrolled into some kind of mandatory program to get them off drugs altogether (not allowed to continue with a substitute e.g. methodone), educated where necessary (remember many are already diploma or degree holders) and then put to work even if in a volunteer capacity. This would go a long way to restoring self worth and self confidence in those that need it than simply keeping them on welfare and being allowed to drink and drug themselves into oblivion with the taxpayer footing the bill for their lifestyle choices.
musicveg
17th May 2017
2:51pm
The problem with the drug testing they are saying they are going to 'randomly pick' 5000 for the trial, so it could be anyone, this is a breach of privacy. It would be better if they start with those caught by police who have been already tested and then put them on a cashless card.
KSS
17th May 2017
2:54pm
Initially they are actually starting with those who have already breached the rules of their welfare by using too drunk or high as excuses not attend interviews. After that they will take random applicants. I still don't see much of an issue with this. They can intervene with those most at risk of breaching welfare conditions.
MICK
17th May 2017
5:25pm
The sadness is that any of us posted anything at all KSS. After 3 months abroad I have heaps to do but this is a bit like my morning coffee. An addiction? God help me.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
11:44pm
Well - welfare recipients leaves out the unemployed, DSP and OAP....

Are you suggesting the Guv raid the lines at the Salvos and San Vincant?
Westie
17th May 2017
1:17pm
I have no objection to being tested for illicit drugs - but what a wicked waste of resources and money. There's bound to be a very small percentage of Age Pensioners who may test positive, but not me. Maybe I don't mix in the "right" circles, but I don't know of anyone in my age group - 70+ - who would test positive either. Think random breath tests on drivers is an excellent idea as there's as much damage caused by a driver whose judgement is impaired by drugs as by alcohol. Would be more economical to use the cash to actually track down the suppliers and get them off the streets altogether. It's a bit like putting a bandaid on a gaping, bleeding wound otherwise. The older I get the more glad I am I'm not young any more. I take prescription drugs but not to the point where I'm a zombie behind the wheel. A better sense of perspective is needed here.
musicveg
17th May 2017
2:52pm
It is not just young people, it is all ages and all walks of life.
Westie
17th May 2017
1:17pm
I have no objection to being tested for illicit drugs - but what a wicked waste of resources and money. There's bound to be a very small percentage of Age Pensioners who may test positive, but not me. Maybe I don't mix in the "right" circles, but I don't know of anyone in my age group - 70+ - who would test positive either. Think random breath tests on drivers is an excellent idea as there's as much damage caused by a driver whose judgement is impaired by drugs as by alcohol. Would be more economical to use the cash to actually track down the suppliers and get them off the streets altogether. It's a bit like putting a bandaid on a gaping, bleeding wound otherwise. The older I get the more glad I am I'm not young any more. I take prescription drugs but not to the point where I'm a zombie behind the wheel. A better sense of perspective is needed here.
Westie
17th May 2017
1:17pm
I have no objection to being tested for illicit drugs - but what a wicked waste of resources and money. There's bound to be a very small percentage of Age Pensioners who may test positive, but not me. Maybe I don't mix in the "right" circles, but I don't know of anyone in my age group - 70+ - who would test positive either. Think random breath tests on drivers is an excellent idea as there's as much damage caused by a driver whose judgement is impaired by drugs as by alcohol. Would be more economical to use the cash to actually track down the suppliers and get them off the streets altogether. It's a bit like putting a bandaid on a gaping, bleeding wound otherwise. The older I get the more glad I am I'm not young any more. I take prescription drugs but not to the point where I'm a zombie behind the wheel. A better sense of perspective is needed here.
Not a Bludger
17th May 2017
1:20pm
What a load of leftie, social engineering, bleeding heart rubbish.

If a drug taker (or anybody else) doesn't bother to go to job interviews he/she should be stigmatised and immediately lose any benefits (ie my/your hard earned taxes).

As should anybody who lies or rorts the system - cash paid for nothing is a privilege and should be treated as such.
MICK
17th May 2017
5:26pm
I agree with getting up rorters Bludger but please put the crooked top end of town with their accounts and lawyers in tow first. Then come after the crumbs.
Not a Bludger
17th May 2017
1:21pm
What a load of leftie, social engineering, bleeding heart rubbish.

If a drug taker (or anybody else) doesn't bother to go to job interviews he/she should be stigmatised and immediately lose any benefits (ie my/your hard earned taxes).

As should anybody who lies or rorts the system - cash paid for nothing is a privilege and should be treated as such.
Rosret
17th May 2017
1:24pm
Hehe - have you seen how many medicines old people take.
MICK
17th May 2017
5:30pm
Yeah. I have a mother who rattles when she walks and keeps the medical profession liquid. Not happy with that but what can you do with older folk who believe the furfy that they should live forever.
Misty
17th May 2017
6:25pm
That comment is tongue in cheek I hope Mick.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
8:11pm
The ex here has two tabletop baskets full....
Nerk
17th May 2017
1:26pm
What about breath testing some these politicians who get a belly full of grog at the discounted lunches at parliament house then stagger in to make laws and try to run the country, might explain their official chauffeur.
George
17th May 2017
1:37pm
Absolutely! Test them for both Drugs & Alcohol.
MICK
17th May 2017
5:30pm
How about honesty and integrity?
Frank
17th May 2017
6:24pm
So you know what those words mean ?
TREBOR
17th May 2017
8:13pm
Honesty and integrity cross all political lines .. or not as the individual case may be..... those with 'right' leaning views have no monopoly on those terms, Frank - if anything, from the Liberal casualty list over law-breaking and corruption - they know them not at all unless it is is the Biblical sense....
MICK
17th May 2017
8:18pm
You clearly have no idea Frank. If you did you could not compose the political crap you do. I live by both of those words and if that means I have to cross swords with the mentally challenged and the trolls then so be it.
Frank
18th May 2017
10:05am
So you both think honesty and integrity has something to do with politics. Nice try fellas.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
12:19pm
I see nowhere where I or Mick said such a thing - rather the opposite... the only association honesty and integrity have with politics is that politicians only saw them passing by, but will espouse them 'til they die...

Their most common usage of h & I is, as I said, in the Biblical sense... like a distant pharmacy - Far Chem...
Old Geezer
17th May 2017
1:41pm
Give all those on welfare a cashless card instead of putting money in the bank. It is then one step harder for them to buy drugs.
Jim
17th May 2017
2:02pm
Sounds like a good idea, I remember back in the 50,s people who were on welfare used to get some sort of card to spend on groceries at certain stores, some of the recipients of these cards used to sell them for a fraction of there worth to other people, and use the cash to buy smokes or grog. Were there is a will there is a way.
musicveg
17th May 2017
2:55pm
Cashless card is not suitable for everyone, it dictates where you will spend your money, even if it is for legal use only. Why should those on welfare doing the right thing be victimized?
MICK
17th May 2017
5:31pm
You have a point but only for those who are irresponsible with money and abuse its intention.
Triss
17th May 2017
10:04pm
Before you advocate cashless cards, Old Geezer and Dim, you need to use them yourselves for a couple of months. I, and a lot of people like me, don't buy my food from supermarkets I buy from Farmers' Markets and Flannerys. I'm certain my health would take a downward swing if I had to eat dubious fruit and vegetables from a supermarket.
If you promote cashless cards and restrict people's right to shop where they want then there's no difference between you and the pollies you're having a go at.
Misty
17th May 2017
1:45pm
What person would be stupid enough to tell Centrelink they couldn't attend a job interview because of drugs and alcohol I would like to know, apparently in NZ OUT OF THE 8,000 + TESTED VERY FEW WERE FOUND TO BE POSITIVE, and cost a lot to implement so once again a waste of money. I don't think the people testing positive lose their benefits they are given a card instead of money but this can be abused too.
tj
17th May 2017
1:50pm
Could anybody seriously consider taking any notice of the opinion from the Guardian or Di Natalie ??? Give us a break
niemakawa
17th May 2017
1:51pm
Put them in Boot Camps and let them sweat it out.
MICK
17th May 2017
5:32pm
With 10 lashes a day.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
5:35pm
@MICK, minimum.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
8:16pm
C'mon boys - I don't hear no singin'! You'd swear it was a hunnert an' twenny degrees out here - cain't be more than a hunnert an FOURTEEN!

A well run boot camp might be a good idea... physical exercise, food, and disciplined work.... three miles up and three miles down... or seven each way over the Brecon Beacons.
MICK
17th May 2017
8:19pm
Call me madame 'lash'. On second thoughts maybe call me mud.
Jim
17th May 2017
1:54pm
Crickey if I get tested God only knows what would happen, and as for giving a urine sample they might have to wait awhile .
Foxy
17th May 2017
2:07pm
lol lol lol - if any "pensioners" can afford illicit drugs good luck to them - heaps simply cannot afford basic food!!! Cauliflowers $6.90 in Melb. right now and steaks been "gold plated" for months!!!

Come to think of it - some drugs are possibly even cheaper than food? :-)
Radish
17th May 2017
2:20pm
I do not believe for one moment that pensioners will be drug tested.
Entirely different situation re those who should be in the work force and on the dole.
Di Natale is talking rubbish in my opinion.
musicveg
17th May 2017
2:57pm
Cauliflowers are out of season, wait until the new season ones.
Foxy
17th May 2017
5:17pm
....so when is the "new season" musicveg - when we don 't necessarily need them? lol Figures! :-)
Misty
17th May 2017
6:28pm
It is probably all that rain up north that is pushing up the prices of vegies and fruits.
Misty
17th May 2017
6:30pm
What do you mean Foxy?, you should be eating fruit and vegies every day.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
8:19pm
Got me some windfall mangoes starting to sprout for the back yard.... go well with the bananas and vegetables.... I wanted an avocado, and they said these were avos.... wrong - they're mangoes...

OK....
Frank
17th May 2017
2:29pm
Isnt it just like the lefties to be really free with other people's money, but when it comes to spending their own they become tight fisted. Isn't he the guy who paid his au pairs $6 ph?
Of course we should be testing Centrelink customers for illegal drugs. If we're forking out for drug bosses to carry on with an untaxed business shouldn't we do something about it?
musicveg
17th May 2017
2:59pm
All Centrelink customers is not feasible, costly and time consuming. Better start with those already charged with drug offence's and put them on a cashless card.
Radish
17th May 2017
4:56pm
Would be easy enough to drug test them every time they front up to Centrelink get a saliva test done...easy peasy.

Agree that if they have a drug offence they should go on the card.
Frank
17th May 2017
5:09pm
I don't know about the rest of you but this little ducky is tired of hearing Centrelink customers saying they wont educate their children, or they wont allow them to have vaccinations, or they wont look for a job, or they just wont. (They sound like the Labor party. No No No!! and NO!!)
But just give me the money!
Show me the money!
The news yesterday told of a Centrelink customer who found a Doctor to say she was blind, ripping off tax payers to the tune of $200k.
MICK
17th May 2017
5:49pm
Yeah...and isn't it just like the right wingers to want to have tax cuts for the wealthy. A cash grab without conscience.
You need to unpoliticise this issue Frank. Oh yeah your boss is doing this so let's defend it. Just like the tax cuts.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
5:51pm
@musiveg, put them on a boat and caste them out to sea.
Frank
17th May 2017
6:23pm
Isnt it just like the lefties to claim the moral high ground on protection of the vulnerable.
Misty
17th May 2017
6:33pm
And knowing you Frank no doubt you will think she votes Labor, what a terrible outlook on life you have. I don't condone in any way what she has done and I hope they throw the book at her and anyone else who tries to rip the welfare system off too.
MICK
17th May 2017
8:30pm
Haven't seen anything from the last 2 coalition governments in the last 4 years other than Class Warfare Frank. Attack the poor and give money to those who are already wealthy in their own rights...and then let's loo at the refusal to tax Corporates and the proliferation of offshore tax shelters. Where does your PM park his money Frank? Come on, fess up.
Frank
17th May 2017
10:07pm
Misty, of course she would vote Labor. All crooks vote Labor. They're mad if they don't.
Misty
18th May 2017
12:50am
What a load of rubbish Frank, I could be as stupid as you and say of course she votes Coalition, all crooks do AND WHAT DOES THAT PROVE?, NOTHING, as neither of us knows who votes for who, or should that be whom?, I can never remember.
Frank
18th May 2017
9:58am
Misty, I'm not claiming to be as smart as you. And we don't know how many times a Labor voter votes either? Do we?
Misty
18th May 2017
11:31am
Another silly statement Frank, why didn't you also say you don't know how many times a Coalition voter votes either?, no one knows how either of them votes do they.
Frank
18th May 2017
3:24pm
C'mon Misty, lets just call a spade a spade.
redxdingo
17th May 2017
2:30pm
Excellent points Ella.I agree with you completely .It is a complex problem AND " the only difference between those on newstart and other drug users may just be money and power".Benefits should not be tied to ANY personal issues or problems Where do you stop And targeting young people
People take rugs because they are looking for relief from pain & poverty Why inflict more on them Drug test the pollies for Alcohol misuse & take some of their privileges away & raise Newstart instead of seeking to criminalise young people /welfare recipients
niemakawa
17th May 2017
2:31pm
Taking illicit drugs is a criminal offence and should be treated as such.
MICK
17th May 2017
8:31pm
You've doing a bit of posting of late niemakawa. Sounds like you are back in Oz mate. Good to see your humour on the site.
Ikantu
17th May 2017
2:34pm
Taking drugs for other than health reasons is a folly that can have unwanted and unfortunate roll on effects. Many businesses now use random drug and alcohol tests and there is good reason for continuing that practice across all forms of employment from politicians to welfare recipients, from miners to doctors, bus drivers to financial advisors. This is not intended to marginalise anyone but I want anyone acting on my behalf to have their full facilities and anyone receiving a payment to have earned that payment
redxdingo
17th May 2017
2:34pm
I like this from HS re pollies especially the Self-righteous ones Hehe " all politicians should also be subjected to drug tests every 6 months In addition they should also be subjected to psychopath and sociopath tests before all elections."
KB
17th May 2017
2:40pm
I have mixed feeling about this. People applying for job should be tested. In some cased it is a requirement of certain jobs. I would like to think that people in charge of transport are tested and fit to fly or drive buses taxis and trains This should also include professionals. Taxpayers should not be funding people who are using the welfare money for drugs. If that is the case then they need to be helped,There are probably some not all recipients have children.This is a step in the right direction if i this going to help children of drug users.
musicveg
17th May 2017
3:02pm
It is not going to help, it will be a waste of money and resources which will be better spent on real solutions, more rehab, education and support.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
8:24pm
Pilots and bus drivers are already subject to testing without notice. Taxis - hmm....

On the way home tonight I really had to wonder, on the freeway at 110, why a guy coming up behind me nearly had to ram me before changing lanes... gonna fit one of those cameras in the back.... my first thought was he was drunk or drugged or otherwise out of his tree.... then he did the same thing, nearly ran up the back of another car after he caught himself behind it while another car overtook him, sliced out and then tail-gated the other guy... crazy as...
musicveg
17th May 2017
3:05pm
Does anyone know how much it is going to cost to run the drug testing? What will it achieve? What will be next? Let's think carefully about this, I believe it is just another form of punishing those who are already suffering. We need to spend the money on real help, with real support then drug addicts can turn their lives around.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
5:41pm
You're a soft touch. About time you faced reality.
Turvey
17th May 2017
3:42pm
One MAJOR difference between Newstart allowance & Pension payment is that Pension payment is NOT a welfare benefit.
Will the government test politians for drugs & withold their allowances if positive.
Not in a million years.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
3:54pm
Yes you are correct . The pension is NOT WELFARE. Politicians of today have taken over the mantle from used car salesmen. Good at spin and conning people. Nothing short of a revolution will bring some sanity back.
Misty
17th May 2017
6:37pm
Now you both will be in TROUBLE, you know what Old Geezer says about OAP, welfare with a capitol W.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
8:24pm
Old Goebbels bites like a shark..... stir him up...
Tricky Dicky
17th May 2017
4:18pm
HEY OLD GEEZER
Just what medical degree OR education do have to speak authoritatively on the effects of drugs and how many people are on unnecessary drugs. This is from my personal knowledge a man who was fit (no fat on him whatsoever) walked everywhere (plenty of exercise) yet still developed diabetes and he still had to be treated by a MEDICAL doctor.
People taking unnecessary drugs I ask What percentage?? I attend my doctor regularly (minimum of 3 months) and he closely monitors (Every Visit) what prescription and non prescription medication I take and my exercise is limited or prevented by knees ruined by my playing sport
My mother a often told me:-
Better to be thought a fool than open your mouth and confirm the thought.

That said it is BY YOUR COMMENTS YOUR A FOOL judging by your comments

SO PUT YOUR BRAIN INTO GEAR BEFORE OPENING YOUR MOUTH OR TYPING COMMENTS.
Foxy
17th May 2017
5:25pm
Yayyyyyyyyyyyyy for "Tricky Dicky" !!!!!!!!! OG is an OF - old fool ..................... :-)
niemakawa
17th May 2017
5:29pm
OG has credibility and knowledge, you can learn from him. Mocking is very immature.
Foxy
17th May 2017
6:00pm
Ohhhhhh sowwwwwy - whatever u say! lol He is also a pain in da arse at times! :-)
Misty
17th May 2017
6:40pm
He has also had cancer twice, was this because of the lifestyle he led and did he not have any prescribed meds to help him through the recovery?
niemakawa
17th May 2017
9:10pm
@Foxy we all are at times. It is our right.
Triss
17th May 2017
10:13pm
People! Have you listened to yourselves? You'd be appalled if theose comments were directed at you. Like my mother often told me 'If you can't say anything pleasant about someone then say nothing'.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
10:18pm
@Triss, well say something pleasant about me, dearie. BTW that saying is a fallacy.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
10:23pm
@Triss. "Say wonderful things to me I think your wonderful too........." How many brownie points for that!!!!!!!!!!!
TREBOR
18th May 2017
8:48am
Yeah - we long ago earned the right to be old bastards.. I even parked crooked yesterday at Bunnings... the horror... looked at the car and said - buggar - I've earned the right -can't be bothered to straighten it ... at least I didn't take up two spaces... yet... gotta work to get to the stage of the old guy who must have spent twenty minutes parking his Land Cruiser like the cross of a T at the end of a row of cars parked side by side, he thus blocking an access road through the car park... but he DID have a Victorian number plate...
Frank
18th May 2017
11:10am
Victorians should have to sit a test like the rest of us before they get a license.
Pushkin2
17th May 2017
4:22pm
As any medical practitioner will tell you, one man's prescription drug is another man's opiate. By all means test everyone, but the screening should differentiate between what is legal or what is illegal for an individual, particularly with mj on the verge of becoming legal for many. If this proves too difficult or costly, best forget it.
floss
17th May 2017
4:25pm
Yes O.G.we have been to a Nursing home on behalf of our family we gave a large donation.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
4:26pm
"Lucy in the sky with diamonds" Oh yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Foxy
17th May 2017
5:26pm
...cool Beatles song - yeah yeah yeah ............ :-)
PlanB
17th May 2017
4:28pm
If anyone takes medication that they do not need they need their heads read, and if there is medication given then it should be tried 1st to make sure it has NO effect on you as far as driving goes B4 you do so. Many have to take pain meds' but not all have an effect on driving if they are being taken right -- not taking too much
PlanB
17th May 2017
4:30pm
I'll bet there are quite a few pollies that are well and truly pissed to the eyeballs most days in question time at least.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
4:32pm
My oath they are.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
11:51pm
I find more impact on my driving and co-ordination from the problems the pills are holding at bay rather than the pills..

That's why I'm that silly old bastard who sits right on the speed limit on the freeway and annoys everyone else....

(it is now your turn to ask why they should be annoyed - it's the speed limit)....
niemakawa
17th May 2017
11:56pm
@TREBOR Government policy is that you drive above the speed limit, you are required to pay the fine. Anything less is criminal.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
12:46am
I have cruise control....... and I checked my speedo on one of those test strips - it's so close to spot on it isn't funny... and I sit in the left lane unless overtaking and then move back when it's clear.

Pisses the 'runners' off no end..... that's why I have a sticker on the back - "Caution - Cranky Old Git At The Wheel!'... I used to drive commercially - I can match any intimidator on the road if pushed to it.... and if they want a little adrenalin in their driving - I'm their man! Mess with me and their adrenalin sky-rockets..... I react instantly to any aggression...
mareela
17th May 2017
4:35pm
Of course the government won't drug test pensioners, however, Larry Anthony gets a donation for every person our hapless government puts on a cashless card. More money for friends of the LNP. No surprises there .
niemakawa
17th May 2017
4:41pm
Random drug testing in schools, adults and children would be a good place to start. Breeding grounds for pushers.
MICK
17th May 2017
5:51pm
Big brother is here.
How about REAL punishment for the drug bosses? Life without parole.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
5:53pm
@MICK. The Duerte Treatment for pushers and users. problem solved.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
8:27pm
.. to the wall...... your God will sort it out for you when you meet him.... in case you've been wronged...
MICK
17th May 2017
8:36pm
Might work niemakawa but if it was up to the current government they would shoot Labor MPs and call them drug dealers. Frank would likely volunteer claiming leftist drug dealers. The mind boggles. Maybe time to call it a night......
Frank
18th May 2017
9:50am
MICK your mind must boggle all the time mate lol. Are you on shift today or is Misty?
Boof
17th May 2017
5:00pm
Bring it on.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
5:05pm
Will they do home visits??
MICK
17th May 2017
8:06pm
And do you want fries with that?
TREBOR
17th May 2017
8:28pm
.. or garlic bread and a pizza.... oh - and on the way can you stop at the grog shop and get me three long-necks... to go with the pizza...
MICK
17th May 2017
8:37pm
You can't afford the long-necks. Stay with the flagons mate.
niemakawa
17th May 2017
10:01pm
And while you're at it roll me a joint.
TREBOR
17th May 2017
11:52pm
Not down to flagons just yet.....
Gilbert
17th May 2017
5:15pm
The amount of drugs we oldies put into ourselves they would be all day testing and it would cost a mint
niemakawa
17th May 2017
5:16pm
It is called asset stripping.!!
TREBOR
17th May 2017
8:28pm
Make the testee pay for it and give the contract to a Liberal mate... there's your answer.....
Alexii
17th May 2017
5:38pm
I can well imagine it as it's another way to stigmatise pensioners.
MICK
17th May 2017
5:54pm
Why not? This group does not form a voting block on anything else so obviously fair game. That is what happens to people who do not fight back and vote for their football team because they are their football team. And you wonder why the country is in such trouble. Oh yeah it's pink batts I believe. Phrases for the mentally challenged.
Frank
17th May 2017
6:15pm
Labor MICK, at work. How much do they pay you mate?
MICK
17th May 2017
8:08pm
Yeah coalition Frank. Is your pay frozen like everybody else's?
trood
17th May 2017
6:15pm
the measures could have catastrophic consequences for drug users....good!
people addicted to drugs are already at rock bottom.... their own bloody fault!!
give them all an overdose for Xmas and get rid of the human garbage once and for all.....they made their own beds so now they can lie in them! ...no sympathy!
niemakawa
17th May 2017
8:54pm
Most definitely. They wont be missed except by the money grabbing counselors and their ilk.
ex PS
18th May 2017
10:59am
A lot of addicts have been hooked by their doctors and are on prescription drugs, is this their own bloody fault?
Couldabeen
19th May 2017
9:27am
ex PS, the drug addicts and drug affected people that these proposals are aimed at are not those on prescription pharmaceuticals. In the past I did encounter people who would "doctor shop" in a bid to get significant over-prescriptions of pain killing medications and they knew full well what they were doing. But most failed to understand the long term psychological and physical harm that they were doing to themselves.
ex PS
19th May 2017
4:13pm
Agreed Couldabeen, but I was addressing the thoughtless remark that drug addiction was always the fault of those addicted. It also has to be taken into consideration those people who have been addicted prescription drugs and transitioned to illegal drugs because they have been taken of the prescription drugs without proper medical planning.
East of Toowoomba
17th May 2017
6:54pm
I support drug testing for all Federal, State and Local government employees and contractors, Job Network providers, politicians and anyone on Centrelink benefits as they are all paid by taxpayers. After all taxpayers don't consume illicit drugs do they? or if they do, they earn their income privately.

It just sounds ridiculous to target drug tests based on who pays your wages. Why not extend the drug test to random shoppers, and commuters as well, you may as well as make it compulsory for all Australian citizens once a week, we may as well know who are the druggies in our society. It might stop the stone throwing by people living in glass houses.
auzie3136
17th May 2017
7:33pm
This idea is utterly stupid as it would cost more than the savings they think they will make.But then Pollys are stupid at times. The only thing they know how to do is to waste our money and take away our freedom and increase their wages and their perks.Where are they going to get the staff from to administer the drug tests also
TREBOR
18th May 2017
12:19am
Everything you say is 100% on the money...
niemakawa
18th May 2017
12:22am
The pushers.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
8:52am
Ah, brilliant solution! We get those with inside knowledge to do the testing, same as the banks have their control mechanisms made up of themselves... watch that Noam Chomsky video...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgGVSq_MRAg

Requiem for the American Dream.... very comprehensive.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
8:57am
Oh - if we legitimise the pushers and make them businessmen, we can tax them to a minor extent (after business deductions) and they will then have a vested interest in controlling their own transfer of substances and the outcomes, thus no need for government regulation (private enterprise is more efficient) ... maybe the pushers, once legitimised in this way - can operate the death squads for those addicts who over-step the line..... so the idea of making the drug pushers the testers of Colonel C'Link queues is feasible in a business sense, according to the ideology....

Sometime you out-do yourself, niemie.... brilliant work...
Frank
18th May 2017
9:45am
auzie, the government will get the staff from the huge base of Centrelink customers. The customers can test each other. Where there may be some confusion arising in the case of a dispute though, is which customer is always right?
TREBOR
18th May 2017
12:34pm
Sounds like the OH & S concept that NRL matches should be played with only one team... confusion arises when the fullback scores but refuses to try-saving tackle himself... could be a penalty against the scoring team there, Rex.... or perhaps it should go the other way...

Here's the kick-off - into empty space.. nobody wants it and the ball bounces out... now the Slamduckers will feed the scrum to themselves with no opposition... oh - it's a penalty for second row feed and hooker striking too early.. all at once...
Liverpool Anne
18th May 2017
9:58am
Drug testing pensioners would be interesting, see that most of them are on heavy medication for one thing or another. Where would they draw the line!!!!!!!!
Frank
18th May 2017
10:09am
boom boom!!
I thought the idea is to get rid of the line?
Liverpool Anne
18th May 2017
10:14am
Pollies are so full of s......, let them start with drug testing themselves first. A lot of 'high flyers' indulge in a snort or two, a known fact.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
12:35pm
A li'l cocaine on the front porch never hurt nobody...
ex PS
18th May 2017
10:33am
Since Pensioners aren't welfare recipients, their is no no need to worry. The cost of this nonsense will far out way any gain.
If you are gong to single out and test any group in society are you going to put aside resources to help them if found to be dependent? If so, will we be spending more per person helping them than we will be taking off them?
And if we are not drug testing them so that they can get the help they need rather than to make a government look more effective than they actually are, why are we bothering.
Just another knee jerk reactive thought buble from a big spending, big taxing government that is desperate to win another term, nothing will come of it.
52-KID
18th May 2017
10:43am
Hello everyone. Every comment I've read (and I haven't read them all) has missed one very important point. If they fail the drug test, they don't lose their benefit", it's given to them on a card that can only be used for food and other living expenses. I think that this is a great idea, but I am concerned that it might up the crime rate. But at least they could pay their rent (perhaps) and buy food and clothing.

So it's not going to save the Government any money, in fact it will cost for the drug tests, but money won't being paid out to beneficiaries who will only spend their benefit on drugs.
52-KID
18th May 2017
10:50am
I should have added that this article is irresponsible for spreading such misinformation.
ex PS
18th May 2017
10:55am
Problem with the card system is that it is easily gotten round to the detriment of the recipients dependents.
A drug user wants money for drugs or alcohol, all they do is offer to pay for their neighbors food bill by card, the bill may come to $120.00 the bill is paid and the card holder gets $100.00 cash for drugs, this has happened everywhere this card system has been introduced.
You are right though, it will probably end up costing the government money, but saving money is not the point of the exercise, the real point is looking strong so that they can win the next election.
52-KID
18th May 2017
11:13am
I had wondered about that. I guess I would do the same if I was that desperate.

I'm still angry about the spread of misinformation though.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
12:36pm
Ex PS - and to provide their cronies with another shot out of the borrowed public purse... money is no object there... that's 'good' borrowing....
Spud
18th May 2017
11:15am
" other forms of welfare " this gets my goat ! Aged pension was set up with a % taken from income to safe guard an entitlement at the age of 65 for a pension . Yes I know over the years it has been absorbed into " general taxes " so all sides of politics see it as " welfare " but I don't!
TREBOR
18th May 2017
12:37pm
It ain't... it's an absolute paid for right unlike the politician retirement package... which is artificially bloated.
Frank
18th May 2017
3:42pm
I think it's just a term we all use because it's part of the welfare budget. It needs to be part of Health and drug rehab.
TREBOR
19th May 2017
1:06pm
It IS the Social Security budget, Frank...I fight this to get people away from the mindset that Social Security is some sort of handout subject to the whim of the incumbent government.....

Still holding the line... the word 'welfare' is shorter and easier to roll of the tongue (like a body off the end of a wharf or over the truck tail-gate once the OAP/Unemployed has died of starvation - Soylent Green Facility #337 - maybe just bulldoze them into a mass grave) - but it comes with a negative suggestion due to its abuse in the United States.
ex PS
19th May 2017
4:08pm
It is a ploy used by the government to dehumanize and marginalise Pensioners. Nobody cares if "welfare" recipients get shafted. If you apply the argument that there is not a specific part of our taxes set aside to provide a Pension so it is welfare, most people that are given any government incentives are indeed on welfare. It is a load of rubbish pushed by a bad government and their camp followers.
Couldabeen
19th May 2017
12:27am
Di Natale showing, again, how immature the average Green appears to be. He is missing the point about the purpose of both the types of welfare that are being looked at and the reason for the drug testing. Maybe the fear of being tested will be the shock that gets the user to actually be sincere in their seeking rehabilitation.
As far as cost effectiveness, when we look at how many drivers test positive to alcohol in the random testing, it's a total waste of money. Typically less than 1% of drivers breathalised read positive. But as a deterrent, it is priceless. The same would apply to the possibility of drug testing for unemployment benefit eligibility. Those on such benefits are supposed to be fit and able to present for job interviews with little prior warning. If they do not keep themselves capable of commencing employment, they are not honest about seeking work and should not be receiving tax-payer funded benefits. Entirely their choice.
Frank
19th May 2017
7:46am
I agree Couldabeen!
great post!
TREBOR
19th May 2017
11:28pm
Yes - but RBT gives the police a foot in the door, and sometimes they use that to over-step the line. For clear examples you may read my partial auto-bio when I was a security guy.... I saw many things....
Ginaus
19th May 2017
3:28am
I find this bloody insulting..... yet the muslims are set for life.... disgusting ....
Ginaus
19th May 2017
3:28am
I find this bloody insulting..... yet the muslims are set for life.... disgusting ....
BElle
19th May 2017
2:13pm
Why is illegal to TAKE the drug. Surely the criminal is the one SELLING the drug.
Drug addiction, of any sort, should be treated as an ILLNESS. That way anyone caught in the trap of addiction would not be demonised as a Junkie but would receive treatment under medicare. This would be a POSITIVE STEP to resolve drug taking as it would be supervised by medical professionals.
However, the selling of illegal and addictive drugs should receive harsher and more meaningful punishment.
Being an addict should be seen as a medical condition... not something to be convicted for.
seadog
19th May 2017
2:44pm
Why not drug test these people. Although that I agree that drug use is being accepted as a form of illness this does not let you work in a mine, the Defence Forces or Emergency Services. They are all subject to random drug tests and they are WORKING for their money. Not like people who are receiving benefits who are GIVEN our taxes. To say that they are being victimised is a misnomer and unfair on all those who actually work and pay taxes.
TREBOR
19th May 2017
11:30pm
Yes - to get into the Defence Forces you need to be 100% clean.... and that includes the long lasting residual cannabis...

I'd rather suck on a can of piss than suck on a cannabis... definitely a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy from drugs...
JAID
20th May 2017
4:03pm
Newslug, I do not agree. All own the society. Denial of benefits due to drug use doesn't even heed the level of input the person denied may have reached prior to reliance upon benefits. It certainly does not take note of the role society may have played in their turning to drugs. It does not take account of any process for the orderly return to the workforce or for that matter the evolution away from drug use. It does not respond to the very popular will that we do not have people starving or cold and wet on the streets nor the appreciation that drugs can be so appealing that people will take to crime to get them.

It is 'lose their benefits' I respond to. It seems to me that there may be a reasonable case for limiting the availability of cash to some as a credit card would.

If we thought about the advantage to our own industries and to the true wealth and activity of those unable to work we may have cards enabling access to homegrown basics at good rates. At least flour, oil, basic vegetables such as potatoes, beans and as is necessarily for much cooking sugar, salt and perhaps honey and seeds for your own garden. If your card gave you ready access to enough of these to take care of basic needs not only would your remaining dollars go further the certified Australian producers of these products would gain and spend and you would have the satisfaction of doing something to provide for your existence. Once educated in that manner, the world may be your oyster.
JAID
20th May 2017
4:08pm
As to the retired on drugs, well if you tested most I wonder if any illegal drugs would show through the prescriptions ones anyway. Not many retirees would use. Don't waste the effort on the testing.

Anyway, if they die with a smile on their face at least we could be pleased that the Australian Happiness Quotient took an upwards hit.

Bring on a Minister for happiness.
Joy Anne
22nd May 2017
3:54pm
How absolutely ridiculous for pensioners, most of us take a drug or two foe pain and other things. Why???? are pensioners copping it. POLITIANS SHOULD BE TESTED, I bet not many left.
Blossom
31st May 2017
10:56pm
Unfortunately there are some who don't spend their pension money as they should then go to charity organisations on a regular basis because they need money to pay their rent if they are renting, electricity, gas, phone etc. The ones sometimes go to another charity at the same time because they don't have money for food. Some have spent it on illegal drugs, overindulging on alcohol, or have a gambling addiction. Maybe if charities are approached continuously on a regular basis they should be put on a database and cross-checked to see if they are going to more than one charity. Maybe some people should be allocated food vouchers instead of cash, perhaps Centrelink could take charge of it if notified by charities who record the bills they pay every time they pay them on peoples' behalf for a few months.


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