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Australian illicit drug report.



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Australian Illicit Drug Report Duncan Kerr - Shadow Minister for Justice and Customs

Media Statement - 6 March 2001

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"Today's Australian Illicit Drug Report shows that the Government has buried its head in the sand in claiming victory for its Tough on Drugs strategy. Only Labor offers a realistic set of strategies in response to the problems of illicit drug use in the community," Duncan Kerr, Shadow Minister for Justice and Customs, said today.

Today's report says:

Cannabis continues to be readily available in Australia and its price is stable....p10 ● Heroin continues to be readily available in Australia, despite reports of temporary shortages in some major cities....p11 ●

The purity and street-level prices of heroin also remained stable in 1999-2000, although in some major markets such as Sydney both wholesale and retail prices tended to decline....p11 ●

Despite the high number of heroin seizures at the Customs border and in the various jurisdictions during 1999-2000, there is no evidence that heroin availability has diminished....p36 ●

The recent increase in opioid overdoses in Australia represents a continuation of the trend seen during the last decade....p11 ●

The use and availability of amphetamine-type substances continues to increase in Australia: after cannabis, they are now the most frequently used illicit drugs....p12 ●

Illicit drug use continues to be a major problem in all Australian prisons...p15 ●

"It is misleading of the Minister to claim that the Australian Illicit Drug Report confirms that Tough on Drugs is working. Despite the dedicated efforts of Australian law enforcement agencies - which have resulted in a number of large drug seizures - the truth is that there are more drugs available on our streets, and our children are using them at a younger age than ever before," Mr Kerr said.

"The Howard Government has not reduced the availability of drugs on our streets. It has not stopped overdoses from increasing yearly. Its programs have not broken the link between drugs and property crime. Communities have not received the support they need to break out of cycles of drugs, crime, youth delinquency and disadvantage.

"Labor's Ten Point Plan to Tackle Australia's Drug Problem addresses all these failures. Unlike the Howard Government, Labor will not pretend that we can solve all the problems associated with illicit drug use by confiscation alone," Mr Kerr said.

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