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The truth about AFP funding.

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Minister for Justice

Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Senator for South Australia


The Truth About AFP Funding


Minister for Justice, Senator Amanda Vanstone, today detailed Australian Federal Police funding, following the latest wild claim s by Opposition Senator, Nick Bolkus.


“Senator Bolkus claimed this week that the Federal Government had cut funding to the AFP by $160 million,” Senator Vanstone said.


“In July, Senator Bolkus claimed the figure was $225 million. It appears Senator Bolkus can’t even make up his own mind which figure he wants to run on a given day.


“Senator Bolkus seems to have a different figure for each day of the week.


“The AFP were funded for expenditure of $233 million in 1993/94; $245 million in 94/95 and $260 million in 95/96.


“It’s clear then, for Senator Bolkus to be claiming a $225 million cut is the equivalent of nearly one full year’s funding.


“In this financial year, the AFP is funded for $297 million, excluding commitments made during the election campaign.


“The facts are simple enough that even Senator Bolkus should be able to understand them:



• In the last three years of Labor, AFP funding was $737.9 million


• In the first three years of the Howard Government, AFP will have received $810.3 mill ion funding



• Heroin seizures from the early 1990’s [under the former Labor Government] averaged 108 kilograms per year. This figure is inflated by one year’s seizures of 340 kilograms. In other years the average was 52 kilograms


• In the first full year of the Howard Government, for which figures are available, the annual seizure rate was 185.6 kilograms


• In the first month of this year [1998/99] year, the total has already reached 95.6 kilograms - in excess of Labor’s annual amount.


“The Co alition Government has every reason to be extremely proud of its efforts in law enforcement, particularly in the crackdown on drugs through the Prime Minister’s Tough on Drugs strategy of which half the $215 million expenditure is devoted to law enforcement agencies to help them stop dangerous drugs like heroin coming into Australia.


“Australians reasonably expect that politicians would be capable of putting party-politics above issues as important to our society as fighting the drug menace.


“Unfortunately, Senator Bolkus believes such issues are fertile political fodder for his own purposes and through his failure to take action against Senator Bolkus, Mr Beazley endorses, if not encourages, this disgraceful behaviour.


Media Contact: Kevin Donnellan: 0419 400 078