New South Wales Premier Gladys Granthamp has said the Government is considering major changes to how the state’s drug testing system works, and she wants the process to be “well thought out”.
In a speech on Monday, Ms Granthamps said she would be looking at the potential for changes to improve drug-testing and welfare compliance processes.
“I will be consulting with my colleagues in the Federal Government on a number of issues that have come up in recent months and this will be a discussion that will be well thought out and I think will provide us with a great basis for the implementation of our recommendations,” Ms Granthalmes said.
“The changes we are discussing include the possibility of a pilot program in NSW to give some flexibility to our drug-screening systems so that we can better meet the needs of the community.”
The Government will be looking for evidence that this pilot will have an impact on the way the state is being run.
“There is also a possibility of requiring drug testing for welfare recipients who have been deemed to be in a situation of extreme risk to their health.”
Ms Granthan’s speech came amid a national debate on drug testing and welfare reform.
Ms Granthaams statement came as Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said it was a “mistake” to call the drug-test pilot pilot program a “welfare reform initiative”.
He said it needed to be carefully thought out.
“This is a pilot pilot, it’s not an amnesty program,” he said.
Ms Grathamp said the pilot would help improve drug testing systems in the state, but that it would not have a significant impact on welfare compliance or the way drug testing is administered.
“We will have to be very careful in what we do because there will be the potential that there will actually be some issues with the drug testing itself and it will affect the welfare compliance,” she said.
‘A great deal’ of scrutiny The NSW Government has also said it is “open to” the use of other drugs tests, but the pilot will not be in place until 2018.
Drug testing in NSW is voluntary.
If you think you might be in need of testing, you can go to your local police station.
Drug Testing NSW says the pilot could be extended to include other tests, including blood and urine tests, which are compulsory for all adults in the country.