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Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Page: 269


Senator DI NATALE (VictoriaLeader of the Australian Greens) (16:27): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator DI NATALE: I firstly want to say that I understand that Senator Lambie's comments are made from personal experience, and I want to acknowledge that and acknowledge the harm that comes with the abuse of illicit drugs. It is an area in which I have worked, and my motion here today is informed by evidence. Sadly, we have too many young people dying from overdoses, overdoses that are entirely preventable. That is why we need to have harm reduction framing our response and it is why we need to have some courage in this place to listen to the evidence and to follow the evidence. Sadly, drug sniffer dogs have been shown to encourage more harmful drug use. We have people who take increased quantities of drugs before going to festivals and, when they see a sniffer dog, they often ingest larger, more harmful quantities of drugs in order to escape arrest. That is the consequence of sniffer dogs. We need to be guided by the evidence on this front.

Question agreed to.