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Controversial Welfare Drug Testing Plan Scrapped

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Controversial Welfare Drug Testing Plan Scrapped Image: Centrelink

A drug testing initiative targeting welfare recipients has been scrapped after it failed to pass in the Senate.

The Turnbull government scheme would have affected 5000 unemployed people accessing Newstart and Youth Allowance in three trial locations in Queensland, NSW and Western Australia, Sky News reports.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter said the pilot program was originally meant to commence in January but would now be addressed separately to allow other provisions to be approved by Christmas.

“There are some difficulties that are going to be presented in getting that part of the bill through the Senate, but that does not mean that we are abandoning drug testing,” Mr Porter told Sky News.

“No one can be perfectly certain with these things but my best assessment is the rest of it, everything other than drug testing, will likely succeed through the Senate.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told Sky News the program was designed to put off people from using drugs.

He said: “If somebody has got an addiction to drugs and you love them, what do you want to do?”