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Opposition calls on Jones to explain

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The Federal Opposition has called on the Federal Minister for Cue tome , Mr Barry J o n e s , to explain why he has not acted on

concerns expressed in 1987 by the Port of Melbourne Security Advisory Unit that Melbourne was 'an entry and trans-shipment point for illegal drugs . ..'.

The shadow Minister for Customs, Mr Alexander Downer, said that he had been astonished to learn that senior Customs officials had admitted to a major national newspaper two days ago that in the past five years Customs had ' emphasised the movement of cargo rather than law enforcement'.

" Drugs are one of the greatest threats to the stability of our society and in particular to our young people . It is just

a p p a l l i n g that the Federal M i n i s t e r r e s p o n s i b l e for the

Australian Customs Service has by all accounts shown such scant concern about the importation of drugs through the Australian waterfront."

"He has had evidence since 198 4 that security on the water front was in some parts 'appallingly bad'. Yet still Customs have i n a d e q u a t e r e s o u r c e s to deal with law enforcement on the

water front."

"Mr Jones doesn't appear to be interested in this aspect of his portfolio",=Mr Downer said.

Mr Downer called on Mr Jones to convene a joint working party involving all State Governments to draw up a coherent set of guidelines for the effective policing of the waterfront.

The Opposition also said that the Federal Government should divert resources from the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse to the Australian Cuetoms Service to step up Customs' attack on drug running into Australia.

Office No: (08) 391 0888

" S i n c e 1 9 8 4 - 8 5 the a m o u n t of h a r d d r u g s d e t e c t e d

A u s t r a l i a n Customs service has significantly declined, same time the G o v e r n m e n t has r e d u c e d the n u m b e r of <

allocated to the Barrier Control Section by 53.4. That

plain s t u p i d ."

w w ww * * * * * * w* * *

11 January 1989

CONTACT! Mr Alexander Downer (08) 391 0888 (Office)

(08) 339 5152 (Home)

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