I attended the City of Mandurah's Special Council Meeting on Tuesday night which was held to discuss the federal government’s Drug Testing Trial.
I listened with interest to the concerns some Councillors raised. It’s disappointing some within the City of Mandurah are responding so negatively to this announcement. The struggle with drug abuse in Mandurah is well known, and we can’t afford to stick our heads in the sand and pretend it’s not an issue.
The considered comments made by Mayor Marina Vergone, Deputy Mayor Darren Lee and Councillors David Schumacher, Peter Jackson and Ron Wortley exhibited the civil discussion that should be had on this issue. In particular I welcome the comments made by Councillor Schumacher, who supported the idea of drug testing but wants to make sure there are sufficient services for mental health treatment.
The Drug Testing Trial has the potential to not only identify welfare recipients who are struggling with drug abuse, but also provide them with the treatment they need to get clean and get a job. It stops taxpayers’ money going to drug dealers, but more importantly, the program allocates an additional $10 million to support government services that will be treating people who test positive for illicit drug use.