Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2018


The St Vincent de Paul Society opposes mandatory drug testing of people who receive income support. There is no evidence that mandatory drug testing has any positive effects. It is expensive, discriminatory and stigmatising and does not remove disadvantage. It deflects attention from underlying structural factors that drive inequality and poverty, while scapegoating people who receive income support.

Consequently, this Bill is not compatible with human rights. Although the stated object to reduce drug addiction is legitimate, the impact is neither reasonable, necessary nor proportionate. This Bill therefore should be rejected in its entirety.