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Dispute over drug strategy



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MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS SENATOR MICHAEL TATE f MEDIA RELEASE

27 March 1991

DISPUTE OVER DRUG STRATEGY

The New South Wales Premier has been urged to intervene to resolve deep division between the State's Health and Police Ministers over the national anti-drug strategy.

The Federal Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs, Senator Michael Tate, called for Mr Greiner's intervention today, following a meeting in Adelaide of the Ministerial Council on the Drug Strategy.

The Council unanimously adopted what Senator Tate described as a sound and co-operative strategy document to continue a joint health and law enforcement approach.

But Senator Tate said that despite being a party to this agreement, the New South Wales Police Minister, Mr Ted Pickering, was publicly threatening to withdraw from the Ministerial Council on the Drug Strategy unless the approach receives backing from

the Premiers conference.

"Mr Pickering has put considerable pressure on his Premier, Mr Greiner, to resolve this dispute between himself and the New South Wales Health minister, Mr Peter Collins", Senator Tate said.

"I believe Mr Pickering's threat to boycott future drug strategy meetings is a hollow one.

"But his public statements certainly devalue the strong commitment of his ministerial colleague in the health area to the co-operative strategy".

Senator Tate said the resolution adopted unanimously today by the MCDS acknowledged the national law enforcement strategy against illicit drugs as a vital part of the co-ordinated national approach.

Released by Adrian Wild - 002/349100

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