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Tuesday, 20 June 2017
Page: 4339

Senator RYAN (VictoriaSpecial Minister of State and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cabinet) (15:02): I have some further information from the Minister for Social Services for an answer that I provided to Senator Siewert yesterday. In question time yesterday Senator Siewert asked about the potential sites for the drug testing trial, referring to speculation in a story aired on A Current Affair on 15 June. I can inform the Senate that I am advised the government has not yet announced the locations of the trial sites. The selection of the sites will be carefully considered to ensure the trial is targeted at supporting regions with a high incidence of drug use and will be based on the best available evidence and data, including the AIHW's 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, treatment availability, state and territory government crime statistics in relation to drug use and possession, administrative data from the Department of Human Services on jobseekers that identify drug dependency issues, and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission's 2017 National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Programreport. Wastewater analysis is widely applied internationally as a tool to measure and interpret drug use within national populations. The government recognises the benefits of wastewater analysis and has partnered with established scientific expertise within academic institutions through this program to build the evidence base on illicit drug use across Australia.