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John Howard unable to decide on drug summit



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THE HON MICHAEL LEE

MP

MEMBER FOR DOBELL SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH

JOHN HOWARD UNABLE TO DECIDE ON DRUG SUMMIT

"The Prime Minister today demonstrated he was unable to make a decison to call a National Drug Summit."

"His answer in Question Time today at least confirmed that Mr Howard has moved from outright opposition to no position.

"On 3 June the Prime Minsiter dismissed the idea saying, 'I consider it would be wasteful of resources and unnecessary to convene a national drug summit at this point in time.'

"Health Minister Dr Wooldridge was even more dismissive on June 18, describing a summit as a 'talkfest' that would achieve 'zilch'.

"Australia's Police Ministers and Directors of Public Prosecutions, Richard Court, the AMA and the Salvation Army have all called on Mr Howard to convene a national summit on drug abuse.

"Mr Howard's only response was to announce today another committee, headed by the head of his Department, Max Moore-Wilton, to look into the issue.

"Presumably this committee will report to the National Drug Strategy Committee, which will then report to the committee of Federal and State health ministers which will then report to Cabinet.

"Mr Howard is desperate to put off making any decision on the drug summit. The community's only hope is that the next round of Liberal Party polling will help Mr Howard make up his mind."

25 August 1997

Contact: Michael Lee 06 277 4221 Parliament House 018 482 820 Mobile

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