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Drug committee appointments lack balance.



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  Australian Labor Party   National ALP

Jenny Macklin, Duncan Kerr - Drug Committee Appointments Lack Balance http://www.alp.org.au/media/0301/jmdkmsdrug200301.html Wednesday, 21 March 2001

Drug Committee Appointments Lack Balance Jenny Macklin, Shadow Minister for Health, and Duncan Kerr, Shadow Minister for Justice

Joint Media Statement - 20 March 2001

"The sacking of several community representatives from the Australian National Council on Drugs will damage community efforts to reduce the harm caused by drugs," Shadow Health Minister Jenny Macklin said today.

"The drug debate needs to involve a variety of voices, and a variety of solutions, not only those the Prime Minister wants to hear.

"In his press statement the Prime Minister was at his arrogant worst when he said:

'I appoint the committee and all current appointments expire this month'. ●

"His claim that the proposed appointments add to the range of expertise on the Council is clearly incorrect. Zero tolerance now dominates the committee and is the "changing role and focus" that the Prime Minister refers to.

No wonder user groups say the Council now lacks adequate user representation. No wonder family support groups feel disenfranchised with the dismissal of Tony Trimingham," Ms Macklin said.

Shadow Justice Minister, Duncan Kerr said, "Last month, Labor released a detailed ten point plan to tackle the illicit drug problem focussing on three objectives:

Keeping people alive. ● Protecting families and communities. ● Fighting drug related crime. ●

"Labor's plan included a commitment to strengthen the non-government sector and de-politicise the Australian National Council on Drugs. Labor strongly believes that the council should be a forum for the experts to discuss effective strategies - not a mouthpiece

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for the Government of the day.

"There is an urgent need for a more inclusive and consultative approach to the problem of illicit drugs. Only by mobilising the whole community to work on the problem will it be possible to reduce the harm that is caused to users, their families and the whole community," Mr Kerr said.

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Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

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