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Drug Testing and Marriage Equality Standing for a Decent Australia, working with the Facts

Drug Testing

ACOSS applauds the decision of the Opposition Labor Party to oppose the Federal Government proposal to introduce drug testing for people needing social security support. The Opposition joins the Australian Greens in opposing this proposal.

Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO of ACOSS said:

“The proposal of the Federal Government to introduce mandatory drug testing is plain wrong. Health experts don’t support it, health workers don’t support it, community organisations don’t support it, and it’s because it won’t work and offends basic rights. The evidence is clear. The Federal Government drug testing proposal will make things worse for people in the community who may be dealing with a drug addiction. It would also further stigmatise and demean people who are relying on social security and have a right to receive support when they need it. We thank the Opposition and the Australian Greens for taking this stand.

"We now urge the members of the Crossbench in the Parliament to follow suit, and firmly reject the drug testing proposal.

"ACOSS calls on the Federal Government to abandon this proposal, and work with us on addressing the real issues facing people currently relying on social security: lack of enough income and decently paid work opportunities, and the real issues facing people in the community dealing with a drug addiction: lack of services and supports.

"ACOSS will continue to work with the Federal Government and the Australian Parliament on policies that will work. Mandatory drug testing is not one of them.”

Marriage Equality

ACOSS again urges the Australian Parliament to deliver a free vote on marriage equality and to vote yes. ACOSS also applauds all those across Australian society who continue to campaign for marriage equality through a parliamentary vote.

Cassandra Goldie, ACOSS CEO, said: “Ëach day, people directly affected by the denial of the human right to marry the person you love, are forced to keep sharing their intimate stories of pain, distress, love and hope. We will continue to do so as we build the unstoppable force for change. Staff in our own organisation, Board members and across our membership are directly affected. As an individual and through my family and friends, I am directly affected. We thank the tireless efforts of the groundswell of politicians and people campaigning in support of this essential change. Across Australia, people campaigning for marriage equality through a parliamentary vote are acting in love and support for their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, children, friends, neighbours, communities and the decency of Australian society. ACOSS applauds all those working to finally deliver marriage equality for Australia.

“The facts are that, as long as loving same sex relationships are invalidated through the failure to recognise marriage equality, those of us affected remain virtual second class citizens. As long as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people continue to suffer discrimination in the workplace, in our schools and in the streets through bullying, harassment and violence, those affected remain on the margins of society. As long as our diverse community continues to experience higher rates of suicide, elevated rates of mental health issues and poorer health outcomes, we will be prevented from reaching our full potential as individuals and as a society.

"The time for change is now. A vote in the Australian Parliament for marriage equality is the only way."

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