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Commonwealth law enforcement agencies continue fight against illicit drug trade.



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Media Release

SENATOR THE HON. CHRISTOPHER ELLISON

Minister for Justice and Customs Senator for Western Australia

28 June 2002

COMMONWEALTH LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES CONTINUE FIGHT AGAINST ILLICIT DRUG TRADE

The Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison, said Australia should be proud of the commitment of Commonwealth law enforcement agencies and their officers to protecting Australia’s borders and keeping the menace of illicit drugs away from Australian streets.

Senator Ellison’s comments were made on day five of Drug Action Week 2002, with today’s theme being "Drugs and the Law". Drug Action Week is organised by the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) to acknowledge the efforts of people working to reduce drug related harm in Australia and to note the many achievements made in this area.

"Earlier this week, the United Nations released the Global Illicit Drug Trends 2002 Report which recognised the contribution of law enforcement agencies to the current heroin shortage in Australia," Senator Ellison said.

"It is only in an environment of reduced supply that we can successfully treat addicts and educate young Australians against the danger of illicit drugs".

"I wish to thank the officers of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and other law enforcement agencies for their constant and ongoing fight against the scourge of illicit drugs," Senator Ellison said.

Since the Howard Government’s National Illicit Drug Strategy commenced in 1997, there has been an unprecedented increase in the detection and seizure of illicit drugs by the AFP and other law enforcement agencies in Australia and overseas. Over seven tonnes of drugs have been prevented from reaching Australian streets including 2,126 kg of heroin, 2,667 kg of cocaine, 1,412 kg of MDMA (ecstasy) and 932 kg of amphetamines.

"The Howard Government’s ongoing commitment to keeping illicit drugs away from our streets was reflected in the extra $4.7 million allocated to the AFP in the recent Federal Budget to expand the National Heroin Signature Programme to include the profiling of cocaine and amphetamine-type substances."

"While there are still many challenges ahead, the Howard Government will never compromise in the fight against illicit drugs. We will continue to send a clear message to those in the drug trade that this Government and our law enforcement agencies are maintaining a constant and ongoing fight to keep illicit drugs out of our community," Senator Ellison said.

Media inquiries: Donna Taylor (02) 6277 7260 or 0409 240 254

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