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ACC report shows drugs on the rise yet Labor continues to cut funding from frontline law enforcement agencies



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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling ACC REPORT SHOWS DRUGS ON THE RISE YET LABOR CONTINUES TO CUT FUNDING FROM FRONTLINE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES May 20, 2013

The Labor Party continues to cut funding to our frontline law enforcement agencies despite Australia being a target for international drug syndicates and an increase in the illicit drug trade, Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection Michael Keenan said.

“The Australian Crime Commission’s (ACC) Illicit Drug Data 2011-12 report shows that Australia is being targeted by international drug syndicates due to our relative wealth and the high Australian dollar,” Mr Keenan said.

“The ACC report shows that parcel post accounts for the largest number of illicit drug border detections, yet under this Labor Government only 10 per cent of air cargo consignments are inspected.

“This means that under Labor, criminals have a better chance of successfully smuggling illicit drugs, illegal weapons and other contraband across our borders and into our community.

“In contrast, under the Howard Government, 60 per cent of all air cargo consignments were inspected.

“Despite the increase in workload, Labor has cut the ACC’s budget for the sixth consecutive year in a row by $6.9 million in funding and a further 54 staff.

“Labor has cut almost 200 staff from the ACC since coming to office - this cut represents 40 per cent of their current total staffing for the agency.

“On top of that Labor has cut $45 million in funding from the Australian Federal Police (AFP), including $1.3 million from the AFP’s Law Enforcement Cooperation Program.

“This was on top of the $133 million in funding that the Labor Party slashed from the AFP in their previous budget.

“The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) have also had their budget slashed again with a further $61.4 million in funding cut, despite the agency having to deal with the boat arrival crisis at our borders as well as the increased drug trafficking trade.

“Customs has also had their staffing levels savaged by this Government with 870 personnel cut since Labor came to office.

“In order to successfully combat organised criminal syndicates and reduce the illicit drug trade, we need to appropriately resource our law enforcements agencies.

“Our law enforcement agencies are doing a good job in tough circumstances, with Labor’s constant funding and personnel cuts severely hindering the agencies capacity to do the job that is expected of them.

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“The Coalition will always prioritise our frontline law and order services and properly resource them so they are able to do their job,” Mr Keenan said.

© Authorised by Michael Keenan MP, 203 Wanneroo Road, Tuart Hill WA 6060

www.keenan.net.au

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