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Thursday, 5 March 1998
Page: 688

Mrs Crosio asked the Minister for Health and Family Services, upon notice, on 18 November 1997:

(1) Will the child education component of the Commonwealth's recently announced Tough on Drugs be based on methods used in Sweden; if so (a) what elements of the Swedish methods will be used, (b) will he explain the basic tenets of the Swedish model of anti-drug education, (c) have the methods been successful in Sweden and (d) is he able to say whether another country has based its anti-drug program on the Swedish model.

(2) Is it a fact that the Commonwealth will spend $87.5 million over the next three years on drug rehabilitation, education, prevention and crime fighting.

(3) Will most of the sum referred to in part (2) be allocated to the areas of Australia with greatest need; if so, which areas are considered to be of the greatest need.

(4) If the areas in greatest need have not been identified, how will they be determined.

(5) Will non-government agencies need to proceed through a tender system in order to obtain Commonwealth funding for their work under the campaign; if so, will he outline the system; if not, why not.

Dr Wooldridge (Health and Family Services) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The child education component of "Tough on Drugs" recently announced by the Prime Minister will be administered by the Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DEETYA). DEETYA has advised that while the School Drug Education Strategy will not be specifically based on the Swedish model there are similarities between the Swedish and Australian approaches to drugs policy. The Swedish drug policy can be described as a close interaction between preventive measures, control policy and treatment of drug abusers, with the aim of a drug-free society. This model is similar to the Australian Government's "Tough on Drugs" strategy which is designed to deliver an integrated approach to reducing the supply and demand of illicit drugs and minimise the harm they cause.

(2) Yes. The Commonwealth is providing $87.5 million over three years as a first instalment towards the new National Illicit Drug Strategy "Tough on Drugs" which will form part of the next major phase of the National Drug Strategy.

For further details I refer the honourable member to the Prime Minister's press release of 2 November 1997.

(3) &

(4) Yes; funding will be allocated as follows:

. interception of illicit drugs—$43.8 million

. education—$14.0 million

. rehabilitation and research—$29.8 million

Additional funding for establishing and operating new facilities for treating illicit drug problems will target geographical target group gaps in the coverage of existing services.

(5) An open tender process will be conducted for several parts of the package, including the community grants program and non-government treatment facilities, seeking submissions from key non-government organisations. State and territory health departments will also be consulted on projects to address areas of highest need within their jurisdictions. The final selection of tenderers will be made in consultation with states and territory health departments to ensure that there is consistency between their overall drug treatment strategies and the initiatives funded under the National Illicit Drug Strategy.