Police understand this deeply. Ask former Victorian Police commissioner Ken Lay, who headed the ice taskforce. What were his findings? More treatment and less punishment.

I’ve worked in south-west Sydney for over a decade.

My grandfather Ted Noffs spent his life fighting for the rights of Australians who had disadvantaged in many forms.

My parents developed the country’s first adolescent drug treatment centre because nothing existed like it.

And my wife and I started the Street University in south-west Sydney because again, nothing like it existed.

And of course, we are not alone. There have been many pioneering organisations who helped see crime plummet.

For half a century, we have been fighting for Australia’s most vulnerable populations.

Now, with proposed introduction of welfare drug testing, we see all the work to make Australia a fairer and safer place at risk.

Don’t stop at welfare recipients

But let’s say you don’t care for this sort of bleeding heart approach — let’s say you want to see people on taxpayer money drug tested.

Doesn’t it follow that all pollies on tax dollars should also be tested in the same way?

Jacqui Lambie thinks so, and I agree.

Even if we cannot find the heart, nor the intellect, to see the evidence before us, we should at least apply the test to all those dependent on our tax.

If MPs voting for this legislation think taxpayers spending money on welfare recipients have the right to know the drug use history of those recipients, then it’s only fair that those same MPs — and their colleagues — who also receive taxpayer dollars, be tested too.

I trust Nick Xenophon, who holds the key to the bill becoming legislation, understands this.

Imagine the cruelty of the one who says a poor person must take a drug test but a rich one has no such obligation.

This is not only a direct return to the Cabramatta days, but also a way to inflict “justice” onto poor people.

‘No’ doesn’t work

We are clear now that “say no to drugs” has failed us and our children. Instead, we’ve seen a reduction in young people using drugs and alcohol by being realistic and helping them understand the dangers of drugs without needlessly scaring them.

The youngest generation of Australians use less drugs and drink less alcohol than their parents and grandparents. They are the most sober generation of Australians so far.

However, if someone is addicted to drugs, are we so foolish to believe that we could stop them using by simply quarantining their money? This is an extension of “say no to drugs”. It doesn’t work.

Worse still, it encourages them to find worse ways to find money to support their addiction. And what’s the easiest way to get money and drugs? Dealing.

Wouldn’t you expect me to be shouting for joy about “forcing” kids into rehab? No. It fails.

My dream is to make Australia the country with the smallest drug issues on Earth.


Reducing not just the supply of drugs but the demand for drugs has been an effort created by law enforcement working with health agencies including treatment and other harm reduction services.

Look at the stats: a 33 per cent drop in ice use. The dream is becoming a reality.

If I believed that forcing kids into rehab worked, I’d be calling for it. It doesn’t work.

Our three latest Street Universities across Queensland have seen more than 3,000 young people in three years, many with ice issues. What’s the result? A significant reduction in their drug use.

So let me make this clear — forcing how a young person spends their money will do one thing and one thing only — increase drug dealing.

And it will increase it in areas that struggled 15 years ago.

Again, this an attack on poor areas by the rich. It is lopsided.

Oh, and speaking of rich people — did I mention that while ice is on the decrease, cocaine is on the up?

Where, among other places? Canberra. You heard correctly.

Canberrans use more cocaine than most Australians.

So if we’re going to drug test people, let’s drug test everyone on the taxpayer purse. Not just the poor.

It’s the only way to make it fair.