Australian Social Services Minister Dan Tehan has urged Labor to support changes to welfare legislation.
Australian Social Services Minister Dan Tehan has urged Labor to support changes to welfare legislation.

Extra $10m to get jobless off grog, drugs

REHAB for jobless junkies and alcoholics will be boosted as the Turnbull Government doubles down on its plan to drug test welfare recipients.

Social Services Minister Dan Tehan will today announce a further $10 million in three trial sites, including Logan, to get the unemployed off the bottle and off needles and into counselling and rehab beds.

The extra cash will be used for:

* $1 million for case management services for people who test positive more than once under the trial;

* $3 million to boost drug treatment capacity in the three trial sites, and;

* $6 million for additional accredited treatment support, in the event state or commonwealth-funded services cannot be accessed timely.

The drug-testing plan has yet to be passed by the Senate, but the increase in funding signals the Government is confident it can get its law across the line.

The announcement highlights another major difference between the Coalition and Labor, which is refusing to support the laws.

Polling has shown most Australians support the change, but Logan Mayor Luke Smith is critical of the plan.

It comes as internal Coalition polling reveals the policy is a winner for the Government, which is digging in on a tough-love approach for welfare recipients who say they are too drunk or high to look for work.

Job seekers will no longer be able to use drug or alcohol dependency as a reasonable excuse to avoid their mutual obligation requirements from July.

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill was carved off last year from a bigger welfare reform laws because the Senate indicated it would not support it.

Mr Tehan yesterday pressured Labor to support the plan.

The Turnbull Government has spoken with more than 170 stakeholders on the drug testing trial at more than 60 forums around Australia.



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