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Tuesday, 30 November 2004
Page: 52

Senator BARTLETT (Leader of the Australian Democrats) (3:43 PM) —At the request of Senator Allison, I move:

That the Senate—

(a) acknowledges that drug use within Australian prisons poses a considerable health risk to prisoners and the broader community;

(b) notes that:

(i) the Australian National Council on Drugs report, Supply,demandandharmreductionstrategiesinAustralianprisons:Implementation,costandevaluation, found that many injecting drug users spend considerable periods behind bars and that a history of drug use is far more common amongst prisoners than in the general population,

(ii) the report also identified a high prevalence of injecting drug use during incarceration and that high proportions of prison inmates report injecting drug use in the community once released, and

(iii) levels of hepatitis C in prisons are estimated to be up to 17 times greater than those in the general community; and

(c) calls on the Government to work collaboratively with the states and territories to develop and fund:

(i) a hepatitis B vaccination program for prisoners,

(ii) voluntary programs for prisoners for testing, counselling and treatment for HIV and other blood-borne viral infections, and

(iii) a trial needle and syringe exchange program, with rigorous evaluation, in an Australian prison.

Question agreed to.