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Cautious backing for welfare trial

Lambie

Key Tasmanian crossbench senator Jacqui Lambie is backing an expanded trial of the cashless welfare card.

The Coalition will also this week reintroduce laws which would allow random drug testing for welfare recipients.

The scheme quarantines 80 per cent of welfare payments, in a bid to stop them being spent on alcohol, drugs or gambling.

The Senator's demanding a bigger emphasis on rehabilitation. 

"The services aren't there, and until those services are there, this is bloody pointless," she told Sky. 

"We're gonna go in, give you a second chance at life, see if we can get you rehabilitated. 

"Now, what happens after that...if they continue to go through this destructive pattern in their lives, then I guess they're going to be penalised for that in the long run." 

But the crossbencher has an interesting condition for her support for drug testing of welfare recipients: it's conditional on politicians submitting to the same conditions. 

"They should have done that years ago, they should have been leading by example," she said. 

"Mining, construction; there's plenty of other places out there that do random drug and alcohol testing."