MP says he'd have 'no problem' being drug tested

19th May 2017 12:10 PM
Mr Kevin Hogan MP in the Chair, House of Representatives chamber proceedings, Thursday 9 February 2017. Credit:  Image by Michael Masters. AUSPIC/DPS. Mr Kevin Hogan MP in the Chair, House of Representatives chamber proceedings, Thursday 9 February 2017. Credit: Image by Michael Masters. AUSPIC/DPS. Michael Masters

THE overwhelming majority of Australians believe politicians should face the same drug tests as proposed for welfare recipients in the 2017 Budget measures, according to a recent poll.

The revelation came in the latest poll released by leading international research firm YouGov and Australian communications and engagement agency Fifty Acres.

84% of Australians believe MPs and Senators should be drug tested and their pay docked if they test positive, the poll revealed, with that figure jumping to over 90% for Australians aged over 45 years.

In addition, 86% of Australians believe Federal MPs and Senators should have their pay reduced if they fail to turn-up Parliament/work, with that number creeping up to over 95% for Australians aged over 55.

Interestingly, the majority of Australians agree with the controversial budget measures for welfare recipients, the poll revealed:

  • 65% agree with a trial of drug testing on 5,000 welfare recipients with those who fail a drug test will have their welfare payments made by a Cashless Debit Card.
  • 71% agree with the measure that would see welfare recipients who fail to turn up to appointments or meet other obligations face having their payments reduced or cancelled.

Page MP Kevin Hogan said he would have no qualms about taking a drug test in his position as a politician.

"I have no issue with that," he said.

"I'd have no problem with that for issues of fairness and equality.

"People are looking at this as a punitive measure, but there's much more to this.

"People who do have drug issue will receive free medical and rehab services.

"This is to help people become functional, more job ready.

"I'm actually amazed, since they announced that, how many people do (get drug tested for their work)."

He said he knew that a lot of industries, for example, the mining industry, held compulsory and random work checks for drug use, but he didn't realise the wide scope of the jobs that do require such checks.