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Monday, 24 November 2003
Page: 17764


Senator Allison asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing, upon notice, on 3 October 2003:

(1) Did the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs establish a National Drug Research Committee to identify research needed to fill gaps in knowledge concerning the development of illicit drug policy.

(2) Has the National Drug Research Committee prepared a draft National Drug Research Strategy; if so: (a) when was it provided to the Minister; (b) what is the status of the strategy; and (c) what research does it propose.

(3) When is it expected that the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs will meet to consider the draft National Drug Research Strategy.

(4) Has the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs already decided not to endorse the draft National Drug Research Strategy; if so, why.

(5) Can the Minister table a copy of the draft National Drug Research Strategy; if not, why not.

(6) Does the Government accept that it is still possible for the operations of drug syndicates to be profitable even if they lose up to 90 per cent of their product to seizures.

(7) Has the Commonwealth commissioned research into the economic drivers of the illicit drug market; if not, does it plan to do so, and when.

(8) Has the Commonwealth commissioned research into the marketing strategies of drug syndicates; if not, does it plan to do so.


Senator Ian Campbell (Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads) —The Minister for Health and Ageing has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Yes. I have been advised that the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs established a National Drug Research Committee in 1999.

(2) The National Drug Research Committee prepared a Draft National Drug Research Strategy for the consideration of the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs.

(a) The Draft National Drug Research Strategy has not been provided to the Minister.

(b) The Draft National Drug Research Strategy is a working document and has not been cleared by all state and territory government members of the Committee.

(c) I am unable to respond to this question until the state and territory government members of the Committee endorse the document. See (b) above.

(3) I have referred this question to the Chair of the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs for response.

(4) I have referred this question to the Chair of the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs for response.

(5) The Department of Health and Ageing has contacted members of the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs to see if they are prepared to clear the document.

(6) Yes.

(7) Yes.

(8) Yes.