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Thursday, 19 June 1997
Page: 5957

(Question No. 1700)

Mrs Crosio asked the Minister for Small Business and Consumer Affairs, upon notice, on 13 May 1997:

(1) Is he able to say what percentage of the total estimated amount of heroin imported illegally into Australia is actually seized by the authorities.

(2) Has the figure risen or decreased since 1990.

(3) Is the estimated cost to the Australian economy due to the trade in illicit drugs close to 0.5 per cent of GDP; if not, what is the estimate.

Mr Prosser —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows.

The Australian Customs Service is responsible for the detection and seizure action in relation to drugs detected at the border. From 1 July 1996 to 3 June 1997 the Australian Customs Service has made 60 heroin seizures totalling 153.1 kilograms.

(1) I am not able to estimate the total amount of heroin imported illegally into Australia and I am therefore unable to estimate the percentage seized.

(2) I am unable to say.

(3) I do not have an estimate.