The CEO of Birpai Local Aboriginal Land Council says there are better ways to help the community than drug test welfare recipients and provide cashless cards.
David Carroll says the Land Council is also concerned about the lack of detail being released concerning the proposal.
The federal government will introduce a drug testing trial in three locations across Australia.
Under the trial 5000 new recipients of Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance will be tested over the two-year trial period across three locations - Canterbury-Bankstown, Logan and Mandurah.
The government has indicated it will roll out the initiative.
Cashless welfare cards, which quarantine 80 per cent of payments so they can only be spent on essentials, are currently in use across four trial sites in South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland.
Mr Carroll says the government move appears to cater to a certain block of the community.
"This idea of drug testing welfare recipients and providing cashless cards appears to be designed to appeal to a certain section of the community," he said.
"But I haven't seen any evidence that it will actually achieve a better outcome.
"There are so many other ways (the government) could help their community.
"Our biggest concern is how is this going to be applied. We need more detail. Is it going to be targeting a certain group or will it be applied across the board.
"And what will be achieved by the drug testing? What support will be provided if there is a positive drug test?"
Mr Carroll also asked how drug testing is going to make a difference.
He also suggested the measure should be introduced to anyone who received a payment from the government, including politicians.
The CEO said people would find work-arounds to secure cash if the cashless card system was implemented.
Cowper MP Patrick Conaghan supports the trial which, he says, has nothing to do with punishing those on Newstart.
"It is all about ensuring that a job seeker is job ready. You can't be job ready if you have a drug addiction," he said.
"This trial is about helping people with addiction and giving them a pathway to a better life with a job.
"Let's face it, many workplaces have random drug testing requirements now.
"Those people struggling with an addiction limit their opportunities in these many industries.
"For those who fail drug tests in the trial locations, the Morrison government is delivering a $10 million treatment fund, which includes $1 million for case management, $3 million boost for drug treatment services in the trial locations and $6 million to support individuals taking up treatment as part of the trial."
We went down this path a few years back. I think this is quite hypocritical.Josette Freeman
Senior national program manager with SMART Recovery Australia Josette Freeman questioned the sincerity of the government.
"We went down this path a few years back," she said. "I think this is quite hypocritical.
"There are people out there possibly feeling shame (about their circumstance) and this is just adding further shame.
"Really, what is the government trying to achieve? It is all very vague."
Ms Freeman pointed to a lack of information on provision of services to support people who failed a drug test.
"Help should be in place first. There are already long waiting lists for detoxification and rehab. So where are these people going to go to access services?
"SMART Recovery fits into this area but we have not received a cent from government."
Ms Freeman said the government was also focused on (illegal) drugs but there was no discussion around alcohol.
"Alcohol is far more damaging than (illegal) drugs to the community," she said.
SMART Australia empowers people to help themselves and each other manage addictive behaviours for the improvement of the health and social well being of the community.
It is expensive, discriminatory and stigmatising. It deflects attention from underlying structural factors that drive inequality and poverty, while scapegoating people who receive income support.St Vincent de Paul
The St Vincent de Paul Society says it continues to oppose drug testing of people who receive income support.
A Society spokesperson says there is no evidence that mandatory drug testing has any positive effects.
"It is expensive, discriminatory and stigmatising. It deflects attention from underlying structural factors that drive inequality and poverty, while scapegoating people who receive income support."
The Australian Council of Social Service also condemns the government's decision to revisit the legislation.
ACOSS director of policy Jacqueline Phillips said the government is trying to deflect from the overwhelming, broad support for an increase to the appallingly low rates of Newstart and Youth Allowance after 25 years without a real increase.
"This government's proposal is designed to stigmatise people struggling to get by on the lowest incomes in the country," Ms Phillips said.
"People on Newstart are trying hard to find paid work - they include older people who've faced age discrimination in the workforce, with half of people on Newstart over 45; young people trying to get a foot in the door after uni or TAFE; and single mothers searching for employment that allows for their caring responsibilities.
"Not only is this proposal demeaning, there's no evidence that it would work."
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