Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Monday, 30 August 2004
Page: 26779


Senator Allison asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing, upon notice, on 26 July 2004:

(1) Can a copy be provided of the Australian National Council on Drugs report, Supply, Demand and Harm Reduction Strategies in Australian Prisons: Implementation, Cost and Evaluation; if not, why not.

(2) Is it correct that this report recommends that: (a) a trial prison needle and syringe exchange program be put in place urgently; and (b) condoms and bleach to clean used needles be made freely available to inmates in all jurisdictions.

(3) Is the Minister aware that the evaluation of overseas prison needle and syringe exchange programs has confirmed the effectiveness of these programs as a method for reducing blood-borne viral infections.

(4) Given that between 30 and 70 per cent of the Australian prison population is estimated to be infected with Hepatitis C, and given the estimated high levels of HIV infection in Australian prisons, what plans does the Government have with regard to implementing needle and syringe exchange programs and facilitating access to condoms and bleach within correctional facilities.


Senator Patterson (Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women) —The Minister for Health and Ageing has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The Australian National Council on Drugs report, Supply, Demand and Harm Reduction Strategies in Australian Prisons: Implementation, Cost and Evaluation is not yet finalised. It is expected to be available in mid September 2004.

(2) (a) and (b) See answer (1) above.

(3) Issues relating to prisons and correctional facilities are the responsibility of State and Territory governments.

(4) See answer (3) above.