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Prime Minister's announcement to build on Customs' Success



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The Hon. Warren Truss, MR Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs Deputy Leader of the House

MEDIA RELEASE 17 September 1998

PRIME MINISTER’S ANNOUNCEMENT TO BUILD ON CUSTOMS’ SUCCESS

The Prime Minister’s announcement of new Government initiatives to boost the fight against illicit drugs will help Customs to build on its current successes, the Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs, Warren Truss, said today.

“Customs has proven to be an extremely professional and reliable protector of Australia’s borders,” Mr Truss said.

The Prime Minister, Mr Howard, announced today major new initiatives which extend the Tough on Drugs policy.

“The extra $10 million over four years to educate our children will help to reduce the number of children who-might be attracted to the drug scene” Mr Truss said. “And the extra funding for border protection will further strengthen Customs’ monitoring capabilities at all borders, including the Torres Strait in the north.”

Customs will receive an additional $31.6 million over four years for border protection: $18.4 million will be used to set up new state-of-the-art mobile X-ray trucks; and $13.2 million will provide new ship and aircraft search teams and additional patrols by Customs vessels in the Torres Strait.

“The Australian Customs Service plays an important role in the facilitation o f trade and the movement of people across Australia’s borders - but also has a vital role to maintain effective protection of our community from unwanted imports, such as illicit drugs,” Mr Truss said.

“Customs uses advanced technology and sensible co-operation with other law enforcement bodies to target and apprehend suspects.

“Over the past three years there have been 140 seizures o f cocaine, netting 212 kilograms o f the drug and 138 seizures o f heroine netting 370 kilograms.”

Further information: Andrew Hall 0419/996766

Contact: Ref: CMR

Andrew Hall — Media Adviser — 02 6277 7790 0419 996 766 Email: ahall@dist.gov.au Web sites: www.dist.gov.auwww.customs.gov.au