Demonising Vulnerable People – Not In Victoria

22 June 2017

The Andrews Labor Government condemns the Turnbull Government legislation introduced today that will see welfare recipients compulsory drug tested.

In Victoria, at least 43 per cent of rough sleepers across Victoria are on Newstart or Youth Allowance.

The Turnbull Government says that this is about ‘identifying those people with drug issues and help them so they can ultimately enjoy the whole range of benefits that come from earning a living through work.’

By failing to provide one additional dollar in rehabilitation services, homelessness or housing services the Federal Government isn’t giving vulnerable people support, but keeping them out on the street.

The Australian National Council on Drugs and multiple international examples show this approach is expensive, discriminatory and will not work.

At the same time the Turnbull Government slashing funding to already stretched social services, the Labor Government is providing a record $799 million in housing and homelessness, and increasing funding for rehabilitation beds by 68 per cent.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley

“This is cheap populist nonsense that doesn’t deal with disadvantage – it punishes people.”

“We won’t demonise people here in Victoria, and we will continue to roll out our record investment to give people a home and support they need to get back on their feet.”

“I urge the Federal Parliament to vote down this legislation and let’s genuinely work together to address the causes of housing and homelessness, and the causes of drug addiction.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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