Council drug tests staff
DRUGGED-UP or hung-over council workers could soon find themselves in big trouble.
Councillors yesterday voted unanimously to investigate the possible introduction of random tests to detect drugs and alcohol.
Cr Glenda Mather, who proposed the idea, said she believed it was the responsible thing to do.
“Over the past month there has been an average of one drug bust every four or five days in the region,” she said.
“The use of illegal substances has found its way into many areas of society and this council has a responsibility to ensure the safety of its staff.”
She said she believed random testing should apply to all levels of the organisation, including councillors.
Cr Tony Williams asked if there was a specific issue with the council workforce and chief executive Evan Pardon said there had been occasions when staff had been suspended after showing up for work “the worse for wear”.
Mr Pardon was asked to report back on the means and methods available, possible legal implications and likely costs of introducing random drug and alcohol tests.
He said he believed the financial costs could be considerable but Deputy Mayor Rose Swadling said she was a strong supporter of random testing.
“We owe it to the community to practice what we preach,” she said.