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Drugs - Royal Commission of Inquiry - Report - Book D - Part XIV


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The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia

AUSTRALIAN ROYAL C O M M ISSIO N OF INQ UIR Y INTO DRUGS

Report

Book D : Part XIV

21 December 1979

Presented by Command and ordered to be printed 18 March 1980

Parliamentary Paper No. 28/1980

jstralian Royal Commission of Inquiry into Drugs eport book d

The Government o f The Commonwealth o f Australia and the Governments of the States o f Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania

Australian Royal Commission of Inquiry into Drugs Commissioner: The Hon. Mr Justice E. S. Williams

Report

Book D: Part XIV

Australian Government Publishing Service Canberra 1980

(c) Commonwealth of Australia 1980

ISBN for this volume: 0 642 04777 4 ISBN for set of volumes: 0 642 04778 2

Publisher's note

In order to make this volume available as rapidly and economically as possible the text has been reproduced from originals prepared as computer print-out.

The publishers recognise that this method has its limitations and regret any lapses in typographical quality.

Printed by C. J. Thompson, Commonwealth Government Printer, Canberra

Report

BOOK A

Part I Introduction

II Drugs of Abuse and their Uses

III Patterns of Drug Use

IV The Factual Terms of Reference

V Legislation

B O O K B

Part VI Organisations with a Direct Enforcement Role

VII Organisations with an Indirect Enforcement Role

VIII Coastal Surveillance

IX International Initiatives

B O O K C

Part X Treatment

XI Drug Education

XII Drug Use Controls

XIII Improving Some Existing Controls

B O O K D

Part XIV A National Strategy on Drug Abuse

List of Recommendations

iii

iv

Contents

Page

PART X I V A National Strategy on Drug Abuse D1

Chapter 1 The Nature and Size of the Problem of D3

Drug Abuse

Chapter 2 Outlining the Strategy D17

Chapter 3 A Uniform Drug Trafficking Act D29

Chapter 4 A National System of Criminal Drug D35

Intelligence

Chapter 5 Drugs of Dependence Acts Commonwealth, D49

State and Territory Legislation on Drug Abuse

Chapter 6 Drug Information Centres Statistical D59

Shortcomings and a Means of Overcoming Them

Chapter 7 Community Drug Liaison Committees D81

Chapter 8 The Future D85

List of Commission's Recommendations D89

v

vi

Part XIV

A N ational Strategy on Drug Abuse

Part XIV A N ational Strategy on Drug Abuse

Chapter 1 . The Nature and Size of the Problem of

Drug Abuse

Chapter 2 . Outlining the Strategy

Chapter 3 . A Uniform Drug Trafficking Act

Chapter 4. A National System of Criminal Drug

Intelligence

Chapter 5 . Drugs of Dependence A c t s--- Commonwealth, State and Territory Legislation on Drug Abuse

Chapter 6 . Drug Information Centres--- Statistical Shortcomings and a Means of Overcoming Them

Chapter 7 . Local Community Drug Liaison Committees

Chapter 8 . The Future

During the course of this Report, the Commission has expressed its conclusions and recommendations when they directly related to the topic just discu s s e d . M e n t i o n , from time to time, has been made of the desirability of a

national strategy against drug abuse which will harness all available Australian resources to:

* remove drug traffickers;

* make illegal drugs less available;

* prevent diversion of legal drugs to illicit u s e ;

* control illegal drug use by reducing use of legal

drugs;

* educate the community on drug abuse, legal and

i l l egal;

* treat abusers on the illicit scene effectively;

* treat abusers of drugs effectively; and

* remove the ignorance that clouds so much community

deb a t e .

This Part considers how these objectives can be attained.

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Chapter 1 T he N ature and S ize o f the Problem of Illegal Drug Abuse

The Commission has examined a vast amount of evidence on drug abuse given to it by drug users and former users, the parents and friends of users, law enforcement agencies, scientific and medical authorities, treatment experts, drug education professionals, and others whose experience in the field claims respect. What it has seen and heard has

convinced the Commission that the elimination of drug abuse in Australian society is an unattainable goal. At best, society can hope merely to contain the problem.

Misconceptions

In coming to an understanding of the problem of drug abuse, it is essential that a number of widely held misconceptions be recognised and exposed. Several of the more prevalent of these are briefly mentioned in this section.

There is a belief held by some that drug abuse is a social problem of recent origin which can be expected to disappear as quickly as, seemingly, it appeared. This is clearly not so. Drugs have been taken for centuries, for reasons some of which are enshrined in tradition and custom. Others are related to the inadequacy-- sometimes the

psychopathological incapacity-- of persons who cannot cope with the stresses of living in a modern society and who seek release and escape in the altered states of consciousness brought about by drug taking.

There is also a popularly held notion that the practice of drug­ taking is confined to particular narrow segments of society-- the young, the deviant, the drop-out, the radical, and the economically

disadvantaged. This is patently not the case. Drug abuse is not restricted to any particular types of person or identifiable groups within the community. All are catered for by the wide range of drugs, legal and illegal, which are available in the market place. The

allusion made to the Australian community at large by the Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare as 'an intoxicated society?' may well be justified.

A further misconception which needs to be corrected is the belief that the problem of drug abuse is a problem confined only to illegal drugs. The reality is that some of the most socially destructive drugs are readily obtainable within the law. The traditional social drugs,

alcohol and tobacco, together with legally obtainable pharmaceutical preparations, are subject to abuse of such seriousness as to worry deeply all who are concerned with the health and well-being of society.

The Significance of Legal Drugs

The Commission has concluded that any rational community action to limit the abuse of drugs must embrace all drugs, not merely those classified as illegal. The case for including legal drugs in any overall strategy aimed at miniminising drug abuse is based not only on the seriousness of the problems associated with the abuse of these drugs, but also on the fact that the abuse of any one drug tends to be

1 all of a piece' with the abuse of all drugs legal and illegal alike.

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Alcohol is as much a drug of dependence as heroin, although in the conventional wisdom the two should hardly be mentioned in the same breath. Yet alcohol is pre-eminently the problem drug in Western society today. It is for this reason that, in its deliberations, the Commission found itself unable to ignore alcohol, even though the Commission's Terms of Reference might have excused it had it done so.

Custom and social conditioning contribute to the widespread use of alcohol. Affluence, advertising and the pressures of modern urban society are also important contributory factors. The evident acceptance of alcohol consumption as a normal social activity encourages each oncoming generation of young people to adopt a favourable attitude towards it. Furthermore, social acceptance causes people to overlook or excuse the manifestations of alcohol abuse in friends and acquaintances. In recent years public attention has been turning to the abuse of alcohol and more is being done to reduce the incidence of abuse and to treat abusers than was formerly the case. Recent developments in alcohol - in - industry programs are most encouraging as was noted by the Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare in its 1977 Report 'Drug Problems in Australia-- an intoxicated society?'. The Commission is pleased to see the steps that unions, employers and governments are

taking in relation to abuse of alcohol.

The various pharmaceutical preparations which can be bought without medical prescription are also the subject of abuse. Analgesics are not merely used as a cure for ailments, but as a preventive measure. The person who takes analgesics to prevent a headache 'coming on' is manifesting classical signs of drug dependence. The user's belief that

the preparation is desirable for continued well-being is of course reinforced by advertising. Once established, the habit becomes difficult to break. Many drugs available on prescription are abused in the same manner. With respect to these drugs, some medical

practitioners are blameworthy for unnecessary prescribing. The question of over-prescribing by medical practitioners has been forcibly raised within the medical profession in recent years. Evidence received by the Commission indicated that many medical practitioners have an inadequate training in pharmacology and, subject as they are to high-powered promotion by pharmaceutical companies and with insufficient time to

spend on individual patients, it is not surprising that some of them over-prescribe drugs.

The young may be told by their elders that drugs are harmful, but what are they to believe when they see those same elders dependent upon alcohol, analgesics and tranquillisers to get through daily life? They observe their family doctor prescribing antibiotics for minor ailments and powerful advertising programs which declare the virtues of different drugs. Seeing a prominent sportsman advertising some alcoholic beverage or reading of their favourite pop musician using illegal drugs conditions youth to believe in the indispensability of taking drugs to cure illness, to overcome tension and to enjoy life.

Patterns of Use

Although there are many exceptions, the Commission has little doubt that there is a general pattern of progression by which young people move from drug to drug. First there is the experiment of smoking a cigarette or drinking alcohol. Not every teenager who experiments with

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these drugs becomes a regular smoker or a drinker of alcohol. Even of those who become regular drinkers only a minority will become problem drinkers. Tobacco and alcohol are of course not forbidden by law as are cannabis, heroin and other illegal drugs. This fact dissuades many teenagers who try tobacco and alcohol from experimenting with illegal drugs. Of those who experiment with cannabis only a small minority

continue to use it. Many of those who experiment with cannabis will never experiment with heroin. Only a minority of regular users of cannabis become users of heroin. Not all users of heroin quickly become dependent upon it .

As previously stated, there are many exceptions to any general observations concerning drug use progression. For example, the Commission has seen cases of persons whose first drug of abuse was heroin. Nor does the pattern described above take into account the multiple nature of much modern drug use. It is generally incorrect to

regard all users of illegal drugs as being users of cannabis only or of heroin only. Most also use tobacco and alcohol. Most, in addition, use combinations of other drugs to achieve the desired change in their state of consciousness.

People become dependent upon illegal drugs for much the same reason that people become dependent upon alcohol. What commences as social and recreational use becomes compulsive use. A desire, whether it is psychological or physical, to maintain a state of intoxication emerges. The person feels he can cope with life only when he is under the

influence of drugs. Only a minority of the community reaches this extreme.

As has been already·shown in Parts III and IV of this Report, the drugs causing abuse problems range from alcohol and tobacco through to analgesics, cannabis, barbiturates, tranquillisers, anti-depressants, opiates, amphetamines, petrol, glue and other volatile substances, and even naturally occurring hallucinogens such as plants like datura and mushroom fungi. In other words, the abuser and potential abuser have at

their disposal a veritable pharmacopeia of drugs capable of elevating or depressing mood, with sometimes disastrous effects.

Practical Implications

It is important for society to ensure that all intoxicated persons are prohibited from activities which can jeopardise the physical safety of others. No nation can afford, for example, intoxicated motor car drivers, air traffic controllers or operators of industrial machinery. Neither can society permit people to proselytize its youth or weak members to join the minority who become dependent upon drugs.

The effect of illegal drugs has been equated by some with the effect of alcohol. There are, however, vital differences. Abuse of alcohol generally produces a casualty only after many years of heavy drinking. With illegal drugs, however, the casualty stage may be reached in youth

and even if those affected emerge from the 'drug scene' in their thirties, they will have lost some of the most significant years of their lives.

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The Dimension of the Problem

Earlier in this Report the Commission addressed itself to the extent of the use of illegal drugs and, on a more limited scale, the misuse of legal drugs. It noted the difficulty of estimating with any confidence the extent of abuse and misuse of drugs in Australia. Despite this difficulty, estimates were developed which provide some scale or dimension to the drug problem as it confronts the Australian community. Indeed, had it not been possible to quantify the problem in some such fashion, it would hardly have been possible for the Commission to formulate even an embryonic national strategy.

The size of the heroin problem in Australia has been considered by several Royal Commissions and Parliamentary Committees in recent years. In Part IV Chapter 6, 'Term of Reference C 1, this Commission estimated that in 1978 there may have been between 14 200 and 20 300 hard core heroin addicts in Australia (page A294). The South Australian Royal Commission into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs said 'we estimate that between 500 and 1500 persons in South Australia are illegally misusing opiates, often in association with other drugs, in ways likely to cause them trouble of some kind'. At page 1942 of the Report of the NSW Royal Commission into Drug Trafficking it is stated:

Research by the Commission and other evidence suggests that in 1976 there were some 7,000 heroin users in New South Wales, that by 1977 they had increased to about 8,500 and at the end of 1978 exceeded 9,000.

(Open Exhibit 687)

This Commission has no doubt that the number of users has increased since the Senate Select Committee on Drug Trafficking and Drug Abuse in Australia reported in 1971:

Although official returns show about 300 persons dependent on the opiate narcotics in Australia, this represents an unknown proportion of the total number. At the same time the evidence before the Committee does not suggest that there are large numbers dependent on opiates although the recent increase in seizures of heroin by law enforcement agencies gives cause for concern. Whereas 50 years ago the incidence of opiate

addiction was disproportionately high in medical and allied professions, opiate abuse is now more common in the 18--25 year age group. (Open Exhibit 19, p .38)

Estimates of the number of users of drugs other than heroin, including estimates received in evidence by this Commission and those published by other Commissions or Committees, are given below.

Cannabis

Dr C. Sprague, Leadership Training Co-ordinator from the self-help rehabilitation organisation GROW, stated in evidence before this Commission:

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In Australia it has been estimated that 500 000 people have used or are using Cannabis (NSW Health Commission 1977). This represents about 4 per cent of the population, and, compared with certain other countries, is a very low figure.

(0T 11325)

This was in general agreement with an estimate by the Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare included in its report 'Drug Abuse in Australia-- an intoxicated society?':

As many as 400 000 Australians, or about 3 per cent of the

total population, use cannabis at least once a month. (Open Exhibit 379, pp. 134--35)

The South Australian Royal Commission into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs stated that in a survey undertaken in Adelaide:

Five per cent of the respondents reported use of cannabis within the month prior to interview, and 9% in the past year (including the past month). (Open Exhibit 586, p.10)

Alcohol

Surveys indicate that between 70 and 80 per cent of women and between 80 and 90 per cent of men currently drink alcohol. Over 250 000 Australians can be classified as alcoholics. In the financial year 1977 — 78, Australians consumed almost 19 million litres of spirits, 202 million litres of wine and 1950 million litres of beer.

Tobacco

Surveys indicate that approximately 35 per cent of all Australians aged 18 and over smoke cigarettes. In the financial year 1977 — 78, Australians consumed 32.3 million kg of tobacco. Furthermore, Australians are estimated to smoke 2800 million cigarettes each month.

Proprietary Oral Analgesics

Dr J. H. Stewart of the Analgesic Sub-Committee of the Australasian Society of Nephrology summarised the geographic results of several surveys in his evidence to the Commission in the following words:

Some 16 per cent of the adult female, and rather more than 10 per cent of the adult male population of Queensland take analgesics every day. The rate of abuse falls and the female preponderance disappears as one moves around Australia in a

clockwise direction through New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania to Western Australia, where- no more than 3 per cent of the adult population of a provincial town were found to take analgesics regularly.

(OT 10598)

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The 1971 report of the Senate Select Committee on Drug Trafficking and Drug Abuse in Australia stated:

An analysis of known industry sales figures shows that the usage of mild analgesics in Australia is 0.63 tablets per person per day. By simple calculation this reaches the staggering figure of 2904.3 million tablets used by the Australian community in a single year.

(Open Exhibit 19, p . 37)

Such a level of consumption is staggering.

Prescription Drugs

The numbers of prescriptions dispensed under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in Australia in the financial year 1978— 79 are set out below:

Drug Class No. of

Prescriptions

Antidepressants 3 400 000

Hypnotics and sedatives 2 900 000

Tranquillisers 4 300 000

Narcotics 300 000

All Drugs 92 800 000

Expenditure on Drugs

To illustrate the size of the drug problem, the amount of money spent by Australians on various types of drugs is set out below:

* In 1977 — 78, Australians spent $3300 million on alcohol.

* In 1977— 78, Australians spent $1180 million on tobacco.

* In 1978 — 79, Australians spent $380 million on prescription drugs dispensed under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. (A large proportion of this money was spent on drugs taken strictly in accordance with the directions of a medical practitioner, but in any case the level of expenditure appears very high.)

* In 1978, the 1 street' value of the estimated supply of heroin

required by hard core heroin addicts could have been between $1000 and $1600 million (see Part IV Chapter 7, 1 The Organised Basis of Drug-related Crime').

These amounts total between $5860 million and $6460 million. They do not include the money spent on cannabis and proprietary oral analgesics, both of which are used by a considerable number of

Australians.

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To place the estimate of $5860— $6460 million in perspective, it should be remembered the total Australian expenditure on food in 1977 — 78 was $9279 million.

Suppression of Illegal Drug Use

The Commission has no doubt that illegal drug abuse is a most

serious problem in Australia. It is a problem which shows definite signs of increasing in magnitude. For the last decade there has been no sufficiently co-ordinated Australian approach to its suppression. There is no doubt that the problem is much greater today than it would have been had there been a coherent national policy against illegal drug abuse during that decade.

The time has now come for a national policy to be put into effect as a matter of urgency.

The Australian approach to the abuse of illegal drugs has been illogical in wanting to punish traffickers severely but at the same time showing leniency towards the users. This approach is illogical because nearly all users are traffickers, albeit on a minor scale. A young person is more likely to be introduced to illegal drug taking by a

friendly neighbourhood addict than by an organised syndicate. Although it is illogical, it can be argued that the prevailing approach is also humane because it recognises that the motive of the syndicate is merely monetary while the addict may have an uncontrollable urge to support his own habit.

There is no doubt that the profits to be made on the illegal drug market have attracted the attention of criminal groups and other unscrupulous people. They have seen a present demand which they are interested in satisfying and expanding. Although exact quantification

is not possible, the Commission has no doubt that huge sums flow out of Australia every year to pay for drugs produced overseas. This movement of money has a significant effect on Australia's balance of payments. If the proceeds are brought back into Australia for investment by

criminal groups, a significant transfer of Australian resources and assets into the hands of criminals will occur. This will mark the commencement of large scale corruption in the Australian community.

Differences Among Drugs

Any national strategy must recognise the fundamental fact that the use of drugs may in some cases be beneficial to individuals and society, whilst in others their use may be damaging. Moreover, the effect of drugs for good or evil will often be dependent not only upon the

properties of the drugs but also upon the ways in which they are used.

Heroin, for example, is a drug which has intrinsic properties which make it useful in certain areas of medical practice. Given the

widespread harm which has attended its misuse, the international

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community has judged that it should not be legally available for any purpose. Adoption of prohibitions based on this conclusion has recognised that other drugs less subject to abuse can satisfactorily provide the therapeutic benefits of heroin.

A quite different conclusion has been reached with respect to alcoholic beverages. Their traditional acceptance in Western cultures has allowed the development of a view that although alcohol is certainly open to abuse and is in fact abused by some people, the majority of people are capable of using it without harm. The result is that the

community has agreed that alcohol should be legally available, subject to a number of controls. Other drugs have been evaluated with the result that some are prohibited while others are subject to varying degrees of control. Only those dependence-producing drugs which have extremely mild effects such as caffeine in tea or coffee are left free of all controls on availability.

The public discussion of illegal drug abuse in Australia has focused on heroin and cannabis. It is true that to date these are the drugs in which organised groups have been dealing. However, there are a large number of other drugs which, although they have a recognised therapeutic use and are legal, are subject to trafficking by those engaged in the illegal drug market. Any sensible national drug strategy must encompass these drugs.

Policy Options

In their submissions to the Commission some witnesses called for the relaxation of all sanctions and prohibitions in the laws against illegal drugs. The argument advanced by some was that every person in the community was entitled to lead his own life as he wished and should accordingly be permitted to take drugs if he so desired. This argument would have had more force with the Commission if the Commission could be

satisfied that a person taking drugs in such an environment would lead his own life of drug taking and would not seek to initiate other people into the habit.

Other persons argued that if the prohibitions of the criminal law on drug possession were removed, there would no longer be any part for drug trafficking syndicates to play. The Commission does not accept that this would occur. It would be necessary, before the criminal element disappeared, for the illegal drugs not only to be made legal but also to be made freely and cheaply available to all who wanted to use them. The

inevitable increase in consumption throughout the Australian community to which such a course would lead would, in the opinion of the

Commission, be socially unacceptable. Accordingly, while the Commission appreciates the interest and sincerity of the witnesses who urged that even heroin should be legal and available on the national health scheme, it must reject these proposals as naive and unrealistic. The

Commission has concluded that drug abuse is already too great a problem

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in the Australian community to contemplate removing prohibitions against illegal drugs. The increase in drug abuse that would inevitably follow such a move would constitute a national disaster. Rather, the

Commission believes that it is necessary to tighten the existing controls so that legal drugs, which at the moment offer ample scope for choice, are less abused.

There is no doubt, in the Commission's view, that the incidence of drug taking is substantially influenced by the availability of drugs. It is therefore essential to increase law enforcement efforts to limit the availability of those drugs of dependence which are prohibited, such as cannabis and heroin, and to police restrictions on drugs which are legal but subject to controls, such as pethidine, Palfium, morphine, methadone and so on. The existing legal controls on alcohol should also be properly enforced.

Australia is more dependent on drugs of all kinds today than it has ever been in the past. Drug abuse has been described as 'a symptom of a complex social malaise, an index of low morale and discontent and a contribution to still further community disintegration'. While effective and unsensational steps are necessary to make abused drugs

inaccessible to potential abusers, the Commission sees an improvement in the quality of Australian life and standards as essential to a real solution to the problem of drug abuse. This is a subjective judgment of the Commission although it is one made after the review of a

considerable body of evidence. The Commission has no doubt that the Australian community if given reliable and non-emotional information upon drug abuse will reach much the same judgment.

Education

In Part III Chapter 3 of this Report, consideration is given to evidence upon why people take drugs. Australian parents should know that young people who experiment with drugs almost invariably do so because of some failing in the home. It is often because the parents

have not maintained close contact with their children that the children look to 'the drug scene' for excitement, relief from boredom, acceptance by a peer group, or even to gain attention from their parents. Where for one reason or another a child does not receive adequate parental

support, the community, whether through neighbours, school teachers, clergymen, youth welfare groups or otherwise, should try to remedy the deficiency. It would be most helpful if there was in every

neighbourhood some person or body able to co-ordinate these potential sources of support for youth.

Apart from availability of drugs the greatest contribution to the recent increase in drug abuse among youth has been the lack of

education. The Commission uses the word 'education' in its broadest sense and does not regard the universal dissemination of didactic material as a substitute for the positive educative processes of the caring family or community in bringing its youth properly to adulthood.

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Treatment and Rehabilitation

Part X of this Report deals with the difficult topic of treatment. As was stated at that point, the Commission regards treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependent persons as having only a long term effect on the problem of drug abuse generally. Better results in the

short term will come from reducing the availability of drugs commonly abused and from assisting youth to grow into adults who can put the use of drugs in a proper perspective.

Law Enforcement

The Commission has concluded that the only sensible approach for Australia to adopt is to maintain the existing 'criminal/medical' model of dealing with illegal drug abuse. Critics of this model say that the criminal approach has failed in spite of the public monies spent on police and the court system. The Commission believes that there has been a large degree of inefficiency in law enforcement operations to date and that a much better result can be obtained if Australia

mobilises its resources and adopts a truly national policy against illegal drugs. Law enforcement efforts should be directed to the harassment of organised groups by the seizure of drugs and convicting those involved. At the level of users and street pedlars, the main law enforcement effort should be directed at identifying users and their associates and bringing them into the treatment net. There has been too much preoccupation in the past with having users and minor pedlars

convicted. Sympathy for the user, however, should be tempered with the realisation that he may be involved in encouraging others to use his drugs.

The Commission often heard stories of juveniles apprehended experimenting with 'pot1 being sent to gaol. While this may have happened in the past, and may still happen elsewhere in the world, the Commission has been unable to find any recent cases in Australia where the courts have taken such a strict attitude towards novice youthful users. There is no reason to believe that courts cannot identify mere experimenters and deal appropriately with them. The Commission is of the view that any conviction recorded in the case of a juvenile

experimenter should be expunged after a period of good behaviour.

The Commission has little doubt that law enforcement with regard to drugs will be much more successful if people breaking the prohibitions on illegal drugs are faced with a high risk of detection than if they feel there is comparatively little risk of detection although penalties upon conviction are very high. In this connection the Commission must state that the frequent calls by some community leaders for higher penalties on conviction seem to be in the nature of a palliative offered

to the public because too few law breakers are being detected. Law enforcement agencies should be given wider powers to assist them in detecting the larger trafficker. It is a far greater deterrent that nine traffickers go to gaol for five years each than that one is sentenced to gaol for life.

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Priorities

In the Commission's opinion law enforcement initiatives should be given priority in tackling the drug problem. This observation must not be taken as indicating a belief that the Commission regards treatment and education as less significant. However, law enforcement is capable

of immediate improvement on a national basis and bears the

responsibility for reducing the quantities of commonly abused drugs that are available.

So far as treatment is concerned, although Australia should continually move towards a national policy on treatment, it must be acknowledged that no one form of treatment is the most effective form for every person. Treatment must remain entirely an area of State

responsibility. Where a deliberate departure from national guidelines because of local conditions is considered necessary, such a departure can be made. The important thing is that the departure is deliberately made for adequate reasons.

Drug education is part of the process of controlling drug abuse. This is not merely education of children in schools, but education of the total community about drugs. It is not too much to hope that

education will ultimately reduce drug abuse significantly. Education will not have dramatic results unless it is supported at the local level. It will not succeed if it is seen as something imposed from above. It will succeed if parents and neighbours appreciate how their

support helps youth and how their bad example harms youth.

Other Measures

The three areas of enforcement, treatment and education would be better drawn together at a State level if there were enacted in each State and Territory a Drugs of Dependence Act. This subject will be discussed later. In addition, awareness and understanding of the present situation of drug abuse in Australia will be enhanced if there

are set up the Drug Information Centres which the Commission recommends. It is believed that these will assist in a very real way to remove the heat and emotionalism in the current debate about drugs.

Summary

The nature and size of the problem of drug abuse in Australia is sufficient justification for a policy to reduce drug abuse. To date no concerted National Policy has emerged. The Commission believes that a National Policy to reduce drug abuse is essential. Within such a policy, the community must be made aware that care in the use of all

drugs is required. A necessary step in the reduction of illegal abuse is to make drugs more difficult to obtain. This implies that police and Customs activity against illegal imported drugs and police activity against locally produced illegal drugs must be intensified and co­ ordinated. All relevant resources within the nation should be available to assist in this activity. In addition, action against the diversion

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of drugs to abuse must be intensified. Over-prescription by medical practitioners of drugs generally, but particularly of Schedule Eight Drugs, must be contained. Procedures aimed at reducing the practice of forging prescriptions should be tightened up. The casualties of drug abuse, even if they refuse to recognise themselves as such, must be

legally directed towards treatment. Legally available drugs of abuse must be included in the policy as soon as practicable.

Education in relation to drugs should be seen as an on-going exercise which includes provision to all sections of the commmunity of reliable and accurate information on the advantages and disadvantages of drugs. A determined effort must be made to educate and support youth so that recourse to drugs is not seen as a solution to the problems

encountered in growing up. This inevitably means a greater commitment to the family than Australia has been prepared to make in recent years. It merely recognises that most children live in families and that properly informed and supported families will better educate their

children in societal and moral attitudes than will all the schools and social workers in the world.

Expressed in this way the policy is not novel. It does not differ greatly from the main thrust of the conclusions of the Senate Select Committee on Drug Abuse chaired by Senator J. E. Marriott in 1971. It recognises that law enforcement, education and treatment have roles to play in reducing drug abuse. It requires that:

* the supply of drugs for illegal use should be reduced if not

eliminated;

* the user, even if he is also a pedlar, should be pressed towards treatment; and

* the community as a whole should be educated on the dangers of drug dependence-- not just the dangers of dependence on illegal drugs.

If the Commission is proposing a policy that is not novel the question that inevitably must be answered is why it has not worked before. The answer is that it has not really been tried. Certain recommendations of Senator Marriott1s Committee have been acted upon while others have not. The Commonwealth Government and the Governments of the States have not combined their resources to act with the strength that in combination they have. There has been too much grandstanding by some people and too much protection of selfish interests by others. Too little accurate information has been available to the public or, for that matter, to legislators and public servants. In the absence of reliable information on most aspects of the 'drug problem' too little humility has been exhibited by people whose recognised duty is to help

form public opinion. In this situation, it is not surprising that ignorance and prejudice have contributed more than their fair share of confusion to the public debate.

The Commission is firmly of the opinion that an optimal national effort against illegal drug abuse will succeed in reducing it. Such a

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national effort will only be possible if the community and governments have accurate information. It will succeed only if Commonwealth and State Governments and agencies co-operate. It is essential, therefore, to adopt and implement a 'National Strategy' which will make effective a

policy to reduce drug abuse.

The Commission proposes a comprehensive national strategy on drugs. In the following Chapters it develops a plan for the national

implementation and continual review of this strategy.

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Chapter 2 Outlining the Strategy

The objectives of a national policy have been shortly stated in the pre­ ceding Chapter. The implementation of a national policy to deal with drug abuse in general and illegal drug trafficking and use in particular is more difficult in Australia than in countries with a unitary system of government. Australia's constitution was deliberately drawn to accord only certain powers to the Commonwealth; the other powers were reserved to the States. In many instances, therefore, it is difficult

to concentrate all of Australia's resources on a given problem.

In a time of national emergency constituted by a war, the defence power of the Commonwealth Government expands so that the Government has far greater power than it has in peace time. In peace time, however, it is essential that the utmost co-operation between the Commonwealth and State Governments be created and maintained. It is encouraging to note

that there are many instances in peace time where sufficient inter­ governmental co-operation has been achieved to harness Australia's resources to a particular task. The Commission sees the only real obstacles to achieving the necessary degree of co-operation to combat drug abuse as personality conflicts and a tendency to put temporary political advantage before the well-being of the nation as a whole.

Need for Co-operation

Enough has been said in the preceding Parts of this Report to warrant a positive and unequivocal statement that co-operation is the key word to the successful implementation of a national policy. Co­ operation must be contrasted with political and departmental jealousies

and empire building, corporate and personal competitiveness, isolationism, independence and indifference.

The problems facing attempts at widespread co-operation involving radical changes, particularly in departmental structure, authority and control need to be fully appreciated. The Commonwealth and States are constitutionally separate. Agencies within each are functionally discrete and largely independent entities. Against this 'separatist' background, independence of action is more the order of the day than is

co-operation, which will tend to cut across or whittle down such independence of action. Some may seek to justify the continuance of independent action by extolling the virtues of 'healthy competition'. However, the desirability of co-operation as a principle of conduct in the fight against drug abuse seems so manifestly sensible and self- evident as not to require elaborate justification.

In the real world, and particularly the departmental world, co­ operation of the type referred to involves effort and change and these imply costs. Cost is often advanced as a reason for delay or

prevarication. Cost must be balanced against the urgency of the need, probability of success and benefits to be achieved.

The Commission has received a considerable volume of evidence on the subject of co-operation between law enforcement agencies in crime investigation relating to drugs. The evidence is 'uneven' in that it

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instances cases ranging from enthusiastic mutual assistance, through grudging joint action, to active non-co-operation. There are examples of apparent high level co-operation vitiated by grass roots antipathy; on the other hand, there are examples of successful officer-level co­ operation without any official policy in support of co-operative effort.

Regrettably, for some of the reasons postulated above, attempts by the former Commonwealth Police Force (Compol) to provide certain integrated services failed to measure up as successful examples of such joint action. The services included the Intelligence Bulletin produced by its Australia Crime Intelligence Centre, and its statistical survey

'Drug Abuse in Australia1.

One of the more noteworthy recent examples of successful co­ operation between enforcement agencies was Operation Crest', which led to the seizure of the yacht Anoa on the north coast of New South Wales in June 1978 with in excess of 2.7 tonnes of Thai cannabis and the apprehension of a number of drug traffickers. The operation involved the Federal Narcotics Bureau, the Royal Australian Navy, the NSW and Queensland Police Forces, the Solomon Islands Police Force and Customs, the RAAF and Compol. The outstanding lesson of Operation Crest was that the seizure could almost certainly not have been made by any one of the agencies working on its own.

Examples of Co-operation

The Commission does not want it thought that co-operation never occurs or is the exception rather than the rule. One of the principal difficulties in promoting co-operation is to ensure that men of goodwill understand how their co-operation assists.

The several health authorities have played a significant part in the success of many National Standing Control Committee (NSCC) sponsored proposals. Indeed the health field for many years has been marked by high level co-operation and joint action particularly between the Commonwealth and States. Illustrations involving this co-operation are the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Drug Evaluation Committee, and National Committee on Health and Vital Statistics .

Other instances of Commonwealth/State co-operation are the pilot study in Western Australia on special prescriptions pads for restricted drugs and the jointly undertaken National Drug Education Program 'Life-- Don't waste it'.

In addition, between departments themselves formal working arrangements for co-operation have evolved such as Customs assistance to Immigration at the 'barrier', and the involvement of several departments, some of them State, in coastal surveillance. On a less formal basis there exist many examples of co-operation mostly at an officer-to-officer level as a result largely of associations formed during formal meetings or courses.

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The Royal Commission on Australian Government Administration (RCAGA) gave considerable attention to the need for increased inter-governmental co-operation in administrative matters. It urged that the Commonwealth make greater use of State administrations and local government

facilities to assist in carrying out common programs. That Commission also referred with approval to the practice of Federal agencies acting for the States in appropriate situations (See the Report of that Commission pp. 156--161).

The RCAGA instanced a range of programs implemented by some form of co-operative arrangement, e.g.

The Australian Tuberculosis Campaign;

Quarantine Operations;

Delegation of Customs responsibilities in remote or isolated regions;

The River Murray Commission;

Rural Reconstruction Scheme; and

The NOW Centre (an experimental 'one stop shop' involving Federal, State and local authority officers working with voluntary agencies and community groups).

The illustrations of co-operative involvement set out above express the substance of the claim by the RCAGA that 'there almost certainly exists a precedent for any kind of arrangement necessary to deal with a particular need for co-operation' (Report of RCAGA, p .158).

The several examples presented in this Chapter of co-operation in drug law enforcement and related fields constitute a picture which is perhaps best described as a 'patchwork'. There is at present no coherent policy of co-operation, and degrees of co-operation in practice

range through a wide spectrum.

The Commission is supported in advocating a national strategy based on co-operative effort by the following comments from the report of the New South Wales Royal Commission into Drug Trafficking:

In the existing situation, New South Wales can but react to the pressures placed upon it by supply. The law enforcement effort can pursue street operations against pedlars and users and the State must look after the victims in clinics, hospitals, courts

and prisons, which are all financed by the State. Acting alone, New South Wales can do little to modify pressures created by supplies...A National strategy could be formulated with New South Wales and other States playing major roles.

(Open Exhibit 687, p.1621)

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In surveying the evidence it has received on the subject of co­ operative drug law enforcement, this Commission has noted that without exception witnesses who have been involved in genuine attempts at pursuing activities on a co-operative basis believe that the effort has been worthwhile. Indeed, the available evidence supports the thesis

that inter-agency co-operation as a principle of corporate behaviour improves communication, reduces duplication and waste, maximises use of scarce resources, and leads to a higher level of effectiveness than the agencies could have achieved on their own.

In comparison with the potential opportunities for co-operative activity, the number of actual attempts to act in concert in drug law enforcement must be seen as little more than token behaviour. On the other hand, given the difficulties of tradition and habit which frequently have to be overcome to institute co-operative action, the efforts of those who have sought and achieved useful co-operation are a source of encouragement and a reason for optimism.

The examples of more general inter-government co-operation given in this Chapter illustrate not only how wide is the variety of activities which can be approached co-operatively, but also the considerable variety of methods, structures and arrangements through which an

intention to co-operate can be implemented. It would seem that the means to the co-operative end available in a particular case are limited only by the ingenuity of the parties involved.

The experience of those involved in implementing and maintaining co­ operative administrative activities in the Australian Federal system does not by any means suggest that the price of successful co-operation is cheap. On the contrary, it is clear that much dedication, goodwill, perseverance, energy and skill are required to bring any such venture to

fruition. Given a willingness on all sides to devote these demanding attributes to an appropriate problem area, however, the rewards appear to be well worthwhile. The following conclusion drawn from the Report of the RCAGA is instructive:

It is apparent, however, that while conflict may be endemic in federal systems, they also offer scope for imaginative administrative arrangements which would not be available in a more centralised, monolithic system and which utilise the

resources of the different levels of government in a way which is advantageous to both. (Volume 2, p. 425)

National Standing Control Committee on Drugs of Dependence

The desirability of co-operation in combating illegal drug abuse has of course been recognised in the past. One effort towards a uniform policy was the creation of the National Standing Control Committee on Drugs of Dependence. It is necessary to consider the history and present effectiveness of this body to see what role it may play in the

future in co-ordination and development of a national policy.

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Prompted by the growth in drug trafficking and in the use of

dependence-producing drugs in Australia, the Cabinet of the Commonwealth Government directed in 1967 that an Inter-Departmental Committee, under the chairmanship of the Comptroller-General of Customs, should be set up to consider the control of trafficking in, and consumption of,narcotic drugs and other drugs of dependence. Cabinet re-affirmed its stand on

12 September 1968, stating that the Commonwealth should emphasise the importance of a concerted national approach to the problem of drug abuse and should assume the role of co-ordinator and initiator.

At the request of the Prime Minister a meeting was held in Canberra on 14 February 1969 between Ministers representing the Departments of Customs and Excise, Health, Attorney-General and Interior from the Commonwealth, and State Ministers representing State Departments concerned with the problems of drug abuse. At that meeting it was

recommended that the National Standing Control Committee on Drugs of Dependence (NSCC) be established to consider immediately the steps that could be taken by the Commonwealth and States to combat all aspects of the existing drug problem in Australia. These aspects included addiction, trafficking, treatment and education.

The first meeting of the National Standing Control Committee was held on 7 March 1969 and since then it has met approximately twice yearly. The Committee reports to meetings of Federal and State Ministers responsible for drug control. The NSCC has working within it

a Law Enforcement Working Party, a Legislation Working Party, a Health Working Party and a Drug Education Sub-Committee.

The terms of reference of the NSCC are:

(a) to consider immediately the further steps that can be taken by Federal and State Governments together to combat all aspects of the drug problem in Australia, including addiction, trafficking, treatment and education; and

(b) to make recommendations to Ministers on legislation and

administrative action which should be taken.

The chairman of the Committee is the Secretary, Department of Business and Consumer Affairs, and the Committee is composed of senior officers of the Commonwealth Department of Health, the Attorney- General ' s Department and the Department of Business and Consumer Affairs, and of State Government Departments with health, welfare and

law enforcement responsibilities.

The evidence satisfied the Commission that the National Standing Control Committee could be proud of its achievements. It has fulfilled the useful purpose of providing a national forum for discussion. It established and has maintained a communication channel between the Commonwealth, the States and the various specialised bodies dealing with aspects of the problem of drug abuse. The Committee was responsible for

setting up assessment teams in 1973 and in 1977 to evaluate and monitor

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drug education programs. Uniformity of legislation in the Commonwealth and the States has been achieved on a number of topics consequent upon recommendation by the Committee. The Drugs of Dependence Monitoring System was introduced in 1970 following a recommendation by the NSCC.

The evidence has, however, convinced the Commission that the National Standing Control Committee has declined in effectiveness in recent years. It has never had legislative powers, but the high level representation on the Committee in its early years offset this to some extent. More recently the level of departmental representation has, generally speaking, declined; this has meant that the deliberations of the Committee are now further removed from decision makers than they once were. In addition, the agendas of Committee meetings have diversified to such an extent that many representatives are able to contribute to only restricted areas. The principal problem would appear to be that the drug scene has not remained static over the years. In

1969, the creation of the National Standing Control Committee was an appropriate initiative, but its constitution and functions have not changed to meet public expectations in a very much larger and different 1979 situation.

In consequence, the Commission is of the view that the development of the proposed strategy towards a national policy against drug abuse should not be appropriately left to the National Standing Control Committee. It is of the opinion that new legislation and new

administrative initiatives more suited to future needs are necessary. The Commission believes that if the strategy operates as it should operate, there will be available to policy makers and the public in Australia, regular, accurate and uniform assessments of the changing

situation with regard to drug abuse.

Implementation of certain other recommendations of this Commission will mean that there will also be specialised Drugs of Dependence Units at State and Commonwealth level capable of adding their oversight of drug abuse problems to the information being disseminated to policy makers by the Drug Information Centres, both State and National. In this context, it appears to the Commission that future initiatives would be better considered by meetings held twice yearly of Commonwealth and State Ministers. That is to say, if the Commission's recommendations are accepted, it would seem that the National Standing Control Committee will no longer have any useful role.

Legislation

The Commission turns to consider what legislative initiatives may be necessary to support a national strategy against drug abuse. In doing this it has kept in mind the desirability of fostering co-operation between all agencies, Commonwealth, State and Local Government, which can help in such a national strategy. Other approaches could have been taken but the Commission considers that the approach favoured has the advantage that it will cultivate and nurture inter-agency co-operation.

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A large number of witnesses urged the development, within Australia, of uniform laws to deal with drug abuse, particularly illegal drug abuse. The main arguments advanced in favour of adopting uniform laws were as follows:

The people basically belong to one culture.

State laws are inconsistent.

Uniform laws would foster more effective drug detection and drug enforcement.

Police powers of search are inconsistent.

Scheduling and controlling of restricted and prohibited substances are inconsistent.

Uniformity in laws would permit common definitions to be adopted, which in turn would lead to more useful information on drug abuse.

Penalties provided by legislation are inconsistent.

Powers of arrest are inconsistent.

Offences provided in some State legislation are not controlled by statute in other States.

* The community would more readily understand the thrust of

legislation and executive action taken under it.

* There is inconsistency exhibited by the judiciary in imposing

penalties.

* Legislative fragmentation leads to differences in interpreting legislation.

* There exists an unnecessary conglomeration of legislation in various States.

Without going into a close examination of the various

recommendations of the NSCC on the need for uniformity, it is of interest to note that the Legislation Working Party's terms of reference included the following:

To review existing drug law legislation and

(a) consider the feasibility of uniform and comprehensive legislation on drug abuse, prevention and control for enactment by Commonwealth, State, and Territory

Governments; and

(b) consider and recommend detail for such legislation or alternatively, any changes necessary in existing legislation with specific attention to the following:

* licit control requirements;

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* treatment and rehabilitation;

* offences and penalties; and

* enforcement powers and authorities.

The only arguments against uniform laws advanced in evidence were that the States usually adopt the recommendations of the National Standing Control Committee on Drugs of Dependence, and that Commonwealth and State officers co-operate in the administration of drug laws.

The Commission was referred to the Canadian model of drug law enforcement. In that country the drug law is a Federal statute and the Federal and Provincial Police enforce the same law. A Commonwealth draft Drugs of Dependence Bill embodying this concept was considered by

the Commonwealth Government in 1975 but it was not introduced into Parliament. In 1976 a Legislation Working Party was set up by the NSCC to review existing drug control legislation and to consider the feasibility of uniform legislation for enactment by Commonwealth, State and Territorial Governments. In September 1976 the NSCC adopted the recommendations of the Legislation Working Party in favour of uniform legislation.

In evidence given to the Commission, the head of the drug squad in one State police force recommended the enactment of uniform

complementary legislation on drugs by Commonwealth and State Governments. He advocated that a drug law enforcement agency exist in each State to handle matters of a domestic nature, such as addiction, forging of prescriptions and the like, and that there be another composite force operating under Commonwealth law dealing with big financiers, big dealings and big importations and manufacturing of drugs. Other witnesses made observations of a similar kind.

It is interesting to note that witnesses experienced in the pharmaceutical industry were of the view that uniform laws were desirable on a number of matters. Mr K. P. Corby, a pharmacist of Hobart, urged the uniform scheduling of drugs in all States. Mr R . C. McCarthy, Principal Pharmacist of the South Australian Health Commission, stated that a uniform Poisons Act for adoption by the States should be developed. Mr J . L. Davis, Senior Pharmacist, South Australian Health Commission, pointed out that where legislation for the treatment of addicts was not uniform, addicts tended to shift from one geographical location to another; he mentioned the movement of people to South Australia when the methadone programs in other States were tending to tighten up. Mr D. H. Duerden, a pharmacist of Melbourne, recommended uniformity of State laws. In his opinion a pharmacist experiences pressures and embarrassment because of differences between the poisons

legislation in the different States. People travelling have trouble understanding why they have difficulty purchasing some items which are readily obtainable in their home State. Another pharmacist in Melbourne thought that there should be a consolidated Drugs Act and that this Act should include all the relevant Sections of the Poisons Act and the Health Act. He recommended that the State Drug Act should be

administered by the Department of Health and that the police should have

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a bigger role in enforcing the Act. He thought that some sort of

Commission composed of a policeman, a doctor, a pharmacist and a layman should be established to administer the Act. Mr R. W. Manning and Mr J. P. Matthews, giving evidence at Sydney on behalf of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, said that the Guild recommended that poisons legislation throughout Australia be on a uniform basis so that the consumer would be provided with the protection required for safe and responsible self­ medication. They pointed out some anomalies that existed because of

inconsistencies relating to the scheduling of drugs; for example, in the A.C.T. it was possible to purchase antihistamines only on prescription whereas in Queanbeyan, ten kilometres away, the same drugs could be

readily purchased over the counter.

On the issue of uniform legislation, the Commission concluded that there are two matters requiring the prompt initiation of legislative measures. The two measures would constitute the foundation for a national drug strategy.

Drugs of Dependence Legislation

The first matter arises from the fact that State drug legislation is not necessarily found in the one Act, and this creates difficulties in administration of the law. The present State legislation is analysed in Chapters 6 and 8 of Part V of this Report. It seems desirable that the

scheduling or classifying of drugs should be uniform throughout Australia. This has not been the case to the present time. In view of the strong body of evidence showing that abusers of drugs illegally obtained will move from State to State to capitalise upon

inconsistencies in the law, it is desirable that the States keep their legislation and policies uniform unless there is some compelling reason based on local considerations for not doing so.

There seems to be no reason why the existing provisions relating to drugs of dependence in each State could not be drawn together in a single Act. At the present moment legislation relating to drugs is usually associated with the Poisons Regulations. There is good reason for believing that over-prescribing by medical practitioners in relation to drugs of dependence might be lessened if there were, within a State, one Act dealing comprehensively with this aspect of drugs. On the other hand there does not seem any requirement that the treatment of persons dependent upon drugs should be standardised by uniform laws. What is

required in relation to treatment is a sufficient control of each agency offering treatment to ensure that the program employed is likely to be beneficial to the patient and that every treatment agency keeps adequate records so that its performance can be assessed.

The Commission believes that this aspect of a national strategy will be met by the enactment of Commonwealth and State Drugs of Dependence Acts such as are dealt with in Chapter 5 of this Part. These Acts would also contain legislative provisions relevant to the lower levels of

illegal drug abuse constituted by the user and the user/pedlar.

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Drug Trafficking Legislation

The second matter is drug trafficking. There is quite a strong body of evidence suggesting that uniform laws are required to deal with drug trafficking. This evidence reflects public opinion which seems strongly in favour of any action possible to eliminate drug trafficking throughout Australia. There seems no doubt that law enforcement would be assisted if there were uniform legislation directed towards drug

trafficking.

The Commonwealth Department of Business and Consumer Affairs contains the Bureau of Customs which administers the Customs Act. The Customs Act prohibits drug smuggling; that is, it prohibits the entry into Australia of illegal drugs, and is based upon the premise that this prevention will occur at the border. It is usual, then, to speak of the Customs barrier or the Customs screen. Unfortunately, once a prohibited illegal drug has pierced that barrier or screen, no conviction for a breach of Commonwealth law can be made unless it can be proved that the substance has in fact been imported. This seems to introduce an unnecessarily artificial element into the prohibition of drug smuggling or trafficking. Admittedly, the Federal enforcement body, if it is uncertain whether or not the illegal drug has been imported, can pass material information to the State drug authorities. These authorities

can charge under State legislation which forbids persons from selling illegal drugs irrespective of their origin. Generally speaking, there is no compelling reason why State police could not charge under the Customs Act and Federal enforcement authorities could not charge under the State Acts. However, this is not done in practice.

The Commission has received ample evidence of the existence of links between drug trafficking and organised crime. Suppression of organised crime at the moment is predominantly the responsibility of State police forces. There is no doubt that these forces would be appreciative of effective assistance from Federal sources in their contest with organised crime.

Existing resources in the drug law enforcement field are not being employed to the best advantage. Almost as a matter of course,

information and intelligence are withheld by one agency from another, and there have been many instances where the sole beneficiary of the lack of co-operation between enforcement bodies has been the drug trafficker. The common source of Federal and State funds is the Australian taxpayer, who should obtain full value for the tax he pays. Notwithstanding, therefore, the constitutional separation of powers in Australia between the Commonwealth and the States, anyone seriously

interested in the suppression of the drug traffic must desire that these constitutional divisions do not impede drug law enforcement. That fragmentation of drug law enforcement efforts seriously impedes performance is demonstrated in Part VI of this Report.

The Commission has concluded that it is essential that a Uniform Drug Trafficking Act be enacted. Such an Act is discussed in detail in Chapter 3 of this Part. Because this Act will concentrate on the

D26

trafficker higher in the distribution chain rather than the street level pedlar (who, as often as not, is an addict himself), it seems proper to the Commission to place in the Act significant increases in the powers that law enforcement agencies are able to call upon. The Commission

also proposes that the Act should provide for setting up National and State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres to improve the present sadly incomplete and fragmented drug intelligence facilities in Australia. These Centres seem to the Commission the appropriate bodies to implement many of the proposed new enforcement powers. This will permit not only a uniform and coherent approach to be taken in the exercise of these powers but also a system of recording and reporting on their exercise. Continual assessment of the value of the powers and the manner of their use would then be possible. Chapter 4 of this Part deals with the proposed Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres.

Drug offences will fall within the Uniform Drug Trafficking Act only if they are of a serious nature. Unfortunately it is not easy to

differentiate between more and less serious trafficking offences. There is a lack of logical satisfaction in making the quantity of drug or money involved the determining factor. The evidence shows clearly that there are big and small traffickers and it is not considered by the

Commission proper to give enforcement agencies increased powers to deal with petty traffickers. The Commission has therefore been obliged to take the practical course of making a quantitative differentiation. The

Commission's approach is consistent with the practice that legislatures have taken to date in relation to gradations in penalties.

Drug offences which do not fall within the proposed Uniform Drug Trafficking Act would be subject to prosecution under the Drugs of Dependence legislation dealt with in detail in Chapter 5 of this Part. The emphasis in that legislation is upon a less severe but not less

effective approach to less serious illegal drug possession and use.

Administration of Legislation

Although the police will retain an important role in the enforcement of Drugs of Dependence legislation, a co-ordinating role is given to the proposed Drugs of Dependence Units. These Units will have staff with qualifications in pharmacy and medicine. Not only will they supervise

the controls upon drugs of dependence but they will have an important role in liaising between the Courts, the police and treatment

facilities.

A most significant failing in Australia at present is the absence of reliable information on illegal drug abuse over a span of years. It is recommended that the Drugs of Dependence legislation provide for setting up Centres at National and State levels to monitor all aspects of

illegal drug abuse. These Centres, which the Commission has called Drug Information Centres to stress that their role is to disseminate information as well as to collect and collate it, are dealt with in Chapter 6 of this Part.

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Recommendations

The Commission's principal recommendations for a national strategy are that:

** Statutory recognition should be given to the difference which the community recognises between trafficker and pedlar/user.

* * Supply of illegal drugs should be reduced by improving police and Customs capabilities.

** Increased attention should be directed to the large trafficker under the proposed Uniform Drug Trafficking Act which will give police greater powers and better resources.

** The pedlar/user and user should be directed towards treatment.

** The impact of the criminal law upon illegal drug experimenters should be minimised by allowing the expunging of convictions.

* * A national system of Drug Information Centres should be set up which

will monitor every aspect of the illegal drug abuse scene so that governments and the public be informed of its size and any changing patterns.

-V* The abuse of legal drugs should be brought as soon as practicable within the purview of Drug Information Centres.

* * Drug education should be intensified on all drugs of dependence not just illegal drugs.

** A review should be conducted on a continuing basis, with the

assistance of the Drug Information Centres, of the efficacy of law enforcement,treatment and education in reducing drug abuse.

The Commission believes that the strategy it recommends ought not to be implemented in part only. It would be wrong to give to enforcement agencies the wider powers of the Uniform Drug Trafficking Act unless there is a national system of Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres involved in the use of those powers. The creation of these Centres is recommended in Chapter 4 of this Part. It would be a mistake to enact a Uniform Drug Trafficking Act if it were not complemented by action against the lower echelons of the drug scene by uniform Drugs of Dependence legislation. It is necessary that Drug Information Centres exist to monitor not only the working of all these initiatives but also the expenditure of money on treatment and education. Unless Drug Information Centres are given the role of reporting regularly and publicly upon all matters of drug abuse this nation will never be able

to view illegal drug abuse in perspective.

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Chapter 3 A Uniform Drug Trafficking Act

The prime target in a strategy to reduce the quantity of illegal drugs available in Australia should be the drug trafficker. There is abundant evidence to prove that groups engaged in drug trafficking do not respect Australia's State or national boundaries. Illegal drugs are imported

into Australia but are also produced in Australia in substantial quantities. Distribution networks for illegal drugs cross State boundaries.

Presently the legislative scheme is that Commonwealth law, expressed in the Customs Act, seeks to prevent the importation of illegal drugs, while State law seeks to prevent the distribution of illegal drugs that have been successfully imported and to prevent the local production of

illegal drugs. This scheme is, in the Commission's opinion, quite inadequate to cope with the realities of the drug trade. It has failed to concentrate the attention of all law enforcement agencies against drug traffickers, has produced demarcation disputes between enforcement agencies and has generally inhibited co-operation among them. The resources of the Commonwealth which could aid law enforcement have to a great extent supported only the Commonwealth law. On the other hand, State law enforcement bodies and State resources generally have been concentrated too much on State laws.

There should be in force in every place in Australia legislation which in a uniform manner prohibits trafficking of illegal drugs, whether they are imported or locally produced. Legislation which is the creature of united action by Commonwealth and State Parliaments will

commit all the resources of the Commonwealth and States to the

enforcement of that legislation. The legislation should contain powers which police forces do not presently have. This proposed National legislation or code is referred to by the Commission as the Uniform Drug Trafficking Act.

A National Code

The Commission strongly recommends that there be enacted by the Commonwealth Parliament and by legislatures of the States and Territories legislation to form a National code to deal with drug trafficking, it being made clear that the legislation is to be enforced

in each State as Federal and as State legislation notwithstanding Section 109 of the Australian Constitution. The Customs Act should remain to constitute a prohibition against the import into Australia of

illegal drugs. The Customs barrier should be strengthened for the purpose of implementing that legislation. For any locally produced illegal drug or for any imported illegal drug which pierces the Customs barrier, the uniform Act should be available. Evidence before the

Commission amply demonstrates that the distribution of illegal drugs by traffickers in Australia is not solely an intrastate activity. The Australian Federal Police should give special attention to interstate operations. It should do so, however, in co-operation with State law

enforcement agencies. Joint operations against large targets (i.e. alleged major traffickers) should be instituted as a matter of course.

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There are several ways in which steps can be taken to produce a National code against drug trafficking. The simplest way would be for the Commonwealth to enact those provisions which lie within its constitutional competence and the State legislatures to do likewise. The Commonwealth and State legislation combined would constitute the code. Another method would be for the Commonwealth to enact a Drug Trafficking Act for the Australian Capital Territory (whether by Statute or Ordinance) but providing that specified provisions clearly within its constitutional competence should apply generally throughout Australia. A State could then enact legislation for that State in identical terms with so much of the Commonwealth law as applies only to the Australian

Capital Territory. Yet another way would be for the Commonwealth and State Parliaments to enact legislation in identical terms without concern as to what parts might be beyond the competence of any one piece of legislation. If a provision is beyond State power it will be

supported by Commonwealth power, and vice versa. Another method would be for the States to refer support power for a limited time to the Commonwealth to pass a uniform Act.

Although there is an argument that a National code against drug trafficking would, because of the international conventions, be entirely within Commonwealth power, the Commission recommends against any attempt to base a code on this power. The example to the community and

governmental agencies on co-operation must first be given by the co­ operative enactment of Commonwealth and State legislation. If they cannot co-operate to produce speedily a National code against drug trafficking there is little hope that any worthwhile co-operation will be achieved elsewhere in this country.

Uniform legislation will not achieve perfection in performance but it will go a long way to assist its attainment by breaking down the fragmentation of effort that presently obtains. Secondment of officers from State to State and Commonwealth to State and from State to Commonwealth police forces should be practised as a regular course. As has been mentioned elsewhere, Sir Robert Mark recommended that there be continuing and substantial secondment from State police forces to the Australian Federal Police, and vice versa.

A Uniform Drug Trafficking Act would:

* focus police efforts against the criminal element rather than the user population;

* assist police to harass and capture the large operators;

* overcome the deficiency in Commonwealth law behind the Customs barrier;

* facilitate joint operations between different police forces.

Outline of Uniform Act

The Commission proposes to produce as a separate volume to this Report a detailed specification of what the Commission believes the Uniform Drug Trafficking Act should contain.

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Outlined here are the main recommended provisions of the Act and the reasons why the Commission recommends them.

The Uniform Drug Trafficking Act should create offences relating to drugs where the activities are of a major kind. Major activities are those in which more than a prescribed quantity of drugs is involved. Activities relating to smaller quantities of drugs are to be regulated by the Drugs of Dependence Acts proposed in Chapter 5. The division is

an attempt to reflect the distinction between criminal exploitation of drug abuse and the social plight of the individual drug user.

The Act deals only with the major drugs found in the illicit

traffic. Drugs of Dependence Acts should regulate lesser quantities of these drugs and also the more complex substances diverted on a

comparatively small scale by a drug abuser from medical use. This approach accords with the concentration of the Uniform Drug Trafficking Act on the involvement of major criminal activity in the wholly illicit drug trade.

It is envisaged that the Uniform Drug Trafficking Act will come into force as an enactment by the Commonwealth Parliament and by each State Parliament and the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly. These Acts being identical in terms will be enforceable by Federal and State

authorities alike. This will reduce the confusion which presently occurs in having dissimilar Acts, but will also operate to harness all State and Federal departments, instrumentalities and agencies to a commitment to assist in the enforcement of the Uniform Drug Trafficking Act. The Commission visualises the Act as containing the following

provisions:

* The principal offence is that of 'trafficking' as such rather than an aggravated possession offence as some State legislation has provided. The emphasis is shifted, away from making use of drugs and associated activities offences, towards attacking exploitation by criminals who may well not be users themselves at all.

* Possession of a specified quantity of drug raises a rebuttable presumption that the person intends to traffic. None of the offences imposes a strict or absolute liability as the offences are of a fully criminal nature. The lesser offences of a quasi-criminal

nature are left to the Drugs of Dependence Acts.

* The Act contains a specific 'conspiracy' offence in an attempt to reach persons whose involvement may be limited to financing drug trafficking.

* The indictable offences under the Act are of such a criminal nature that it is appropriate that they be subject to arrest without warrant by police acting upon reasonable belief.

* The Act gives to police officers the widest possible powers of search short of 'general warrants'. These include:

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(a) judicial search warrants containing broad powers of entry, search, seizure and arrest;

(b) warrantless searches of persons and vehicles in public places by police officers.

The Act should provide for the setting up of National and State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres. The necessity for creating these Centres and their proposed functions are discussed in Chapter 4 of this Part.

The Act should contain provision for surveillance and investigation by the use of electronic devices. Their use should be strictly controlled by a general prohibition against use without special authorisation:

(a) in the case of listening devices by the Director of a State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre or in certain cases by a warrant issued by a magistrate on the Director's application; and

(b) in the case of telephone taps, which are more indiscriminate, by a Federal Court or Supreme Court Judge on application by the Director of a Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre.

The Act should also contain provisions permitting, subject to the issue of a warrant by a Federal Court or Supreme Court Judge on the application of the Director of a Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre, the interception of communications. This matter has been discussed in Part XIII, Chapter 7.

The Act should contain provisions restricting the use to which information received as a result of the exercise of powers

recommended by the Commission may be put. For example, information on drug trafficking received as a result of a telephone tap

authorised under the Act, and information received from other Commonwealth authorities pursuant to the initiatives recommended in Part XIII, Chapter 5, may be used only for enforcing the Act or for detecting the commission of other serious criminal offences.

The Act should make special provision for the confiscation of the proceeds of drug trafficking as well as the moneys and property used to enable drug trafficking to be carried out. This is necessary to counter the involvement of organised criminal activity with access to large amounts of money in an area where investment might

otherwise yield high returns. This is achieved by:

(a) confiscation offence; and of moneys involved in the commission of an

(b) seeking to remove associated gains monetary penalties. by sufficiently high

The Act should make provision to overcome the difficulties connected with prosecuting a crime where a person has given willing co­ operation in a covert activity (e.g. the sale of drugs on street level) and it is desired to call him as a witness for the

prosecution. This requires special provisions relating to witnesses. Persons such as accomplices and informants who witness these activities may not make the best witnesses but they are often the only ones. To make this evidence available to the courts:

(a) the privilege against self-incrimination is to be compulsorily waived where a grant of immunity is given, thus making the evidence (e.g. of a minor accomplice) compellable;

(b) the privilege of police not to be compelled to reveal

information received in confidence is re-stated;

(c) the Attorney-General for the Commonwealth is empowered to relocate witnesses.

* The Act should empower Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres to seek

assistance upon an appropriate application in that behalf to a Federal Court or Supreme Court Judge from the Australian Taxation Office and the Reserve Bank. This flows from recommendations in

Part XIII, Chapter 5.

* The Act should provide that bail for a person charged with an

offence against it may be granted only by a Judge of the Supreme Court of a State or Territory or of the Federal Court of Australia. Power to grant bail in the most serious criminal cases is vested in these Judges who therefore are best suited to deal with applications by putative drug traffickers who, as a class, demonstrate a high

rate of absconding.

* The Act should provide a maximum penalty of twenty years

imprisonment but also provide that, irrespective of any other Act or law, a person sentenced to imprisonment for an offence against the Act will not be eligible for parole. Remissions of sentence for good behaviour generally cut a sentence by one quarter. The result

then would be that a person sentenced to imprisonment for an offence against the Act would serve three quarters of the sentence.

The provisions in relation to penalty are based on several factors. The Commission has no doubt that the best deterrent to drug trafficking is the near certainty of being detected and charged, with the prospect of conviction and the serving of a term of imprisonment. It is for this

reason that the Commission has recommended increased law enforcement powers under the Act. There has been a tendency in recent times to regard increases in penalties as something of a panacea for dealing with drug trafficking, whereas the emphasis should be on increased certainty

of detection. A maximum penalty of twenty years without parole is sufficient at present to deal with the worst case of trafficking, especially when coupled with an appropriate monetary penalty. What is needed in respect of sentence is the certainty that a substantial part of a sentence imposed will be served. A sentence of 14 years of which

10 and a half years will certainly be served is a more effective deterrent than a longer sentence carrying with it the prospect of a much earlier release on parole.

The Commission believes it is undesirable that Supreme Court Judges to whom the power of issuing warrants for enforcement powers under the

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Act is entrusted should be trying prosecutions under the Act. The important powers should be subject to supervision by Judges of the Superior Courts. The position can be met by having offences under the Uniform Drug Trafficking Act tried in the District or County Courts or, where there is no such Court in a State or Territory, by an appropriate

administrative arrangement ensuring the supervising Judge does not also try cases under the Act. This will reduce the possibility of abuse of the powers as such Judges constitute only a small body in each State and can be expected to become quickly aware of any abuse.

A uniform maximum penalty of twenty years will make it less likely that uninformed sympathy in some small sections of the community for a person facing a potential life sentence operates to assist that person. It should redress an element of over-reaction apparent in recent years and allow a more rational approach by the criminal justice system.

The Court before whom a person is convicted may in addition to imprisonment impose a very substantial pecuniary penalty. The use of this power will destroy the profit for which the drug trafficker carried on business. It will not be a case of coming out of prison to enjoy the profits which have been stored away.

Sentencing patterns will be monitored by the Drug Information Centres, and in the light of other information those Centres distribute upon the drug scene, Judges will be better informed upon the efficacy of the sentences they imposed. In addition the legislatures and

governments will be able to assess whether the Commission's

recommendations on penalties have been well framed and, if they have not, what alterations should be made to the law.

The National and State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres will constitute a truly national system of criminal drug intelligence. As this is such an important topic it is treated separately in the next Chapter.

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Chapter 4 A N ational System o f Criminal Drug Intelligence

The Commission has concluded that intelligence is the most important single weapon in the armoury of law enforcement generally and of drug law enforcement in particular. Evidence received by the Commission left no doubt that good intelligence is an essential prerequisite to effective law enforcement.

Virtually all Australian law enforcement officers who gave evidence before the Commission agreed in essence with the comments of George M. Belk, Assistant Administrator for Intelligence of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, who has summed up the value of intelligence

in drug law enforcement in the following words:

Intelligence is an essential element in the success of any investigative or enforcement agency. Accurate and up-to-date information enhances the ability to assess the vulnerabilities of criminal networks, to interdict drug traffic in a systematic way, to forecast the new ways in which illicit trade may

develop, to evaluate the impact of previous activities, and to establish long-range strategies and policies.

Intelligence has become something of a vogue word. As it is used by law enforcement agencies it means any potentially useful information that is collected. There is no mystery about intelligence. In its original state it is merely a piece of information; in its processed

state it is a word picture of criminals and their activities.

Intelligence is collected from a variety of sources. It is then collated, refined and analysed, and finally disseminated to the operational arm of law enforcement.

In this first step of collection of relevant information from a variety of sources, a most important source in the case of illegal drugs produced outside Australia is overseas law enforcement agencies. The Commission heard evidence of cases where law enforcement officers in Australia have, through their own personal contacts with overseas

agencies, derived useful intelligence. A formal system of liaison through Interpol or through Australian narcotics liaison officers based overseas is preferable to the making of ad hoc arrangements.

Information coming from overseas enforcement agencies might be a straight-out 'tip-off'. A recent example of this was the advice by the Singaporean Central Narcotics Bureau to the Australian narcotics liaison officer in Kuala Lumpur that resulted in the search by Customs officers of the cruise ship Kota Bali in Fremantle Harbour on Monday 24 September

1979 when 13.5 kilograms of heroin were discovered and seized. More often the information will have less dramatic immediate consequences but when added to the other information available in Australia it often proves invaluable.

Another source of information is those who, though they have no special charter on drugs, may gather useful information incidental to their normal activities. A country policeman may hear or observe something which, when combined with information known to police officers

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elsewhere, could lead to a significant seizure. The local policeman is often given information by members of the public that is potentially very useful. He is in a position to gather information at the 'grass roots' level. There are also many cases where police officers, engaged

in the course of their duty in a line of inquiry unconnected with drugs, discover information which is of significance to drug law enforcement.

Other sources of information are tapped through the deliberate activity of seeking information. This may be done by drug law

enforcement agents using informants, paid or unpaid, or by conducting surveillance of suspects and their associates. There is abundant evidence before the Commission that persons engaged in drug trafficking use sophisticated methods including elaborate counter-surveillance measures. It is important that whatever intelligence is gained

concerning their activities is speedily passed on to an intelligence section or unit after collection so that the best use may be made of it.

When the information has been collected it must be collated. This means that the raw information that has been collected is evaluated, appropriately categorised, and stored in a manner that facilitates retrieval. Today the capabilities of computers are utilised by many law enforcement agencies for storage and retrieval purposes. The human mind, however, must continue to be exercised in the collection and the collation of the information to make the most of computer facilities. It is also important that critical consideration is continually given to whether the information collected is worth collating and storing or not.

In this connection, it is worthwhile acknowledging that unless information is critically scrutinised and culled, the names of law abiding citizens could quite unfairly be included in an intelligence report with the imputation of some wrongdoing. Criminals and malicious gossips can easily allege that a zealous police officer or a wealthy businessman is corrupt. This information has to be recorded because the allegation has been made. But an efficient intelligence system would ensure that ungrounded allegations of this kind are promptly discounted and the names discarded. Without an efficient intelligence system the names are likely to remain on file for years. The Commission heard evidence of examples of this occurrence. Unsubstantiated allegations are rife in connection with drugs.

The next stage in the process is analysis. Here people with

specialised training and experience work to recognise connections between items of information and to assess their significance. Unfortunately, successful analysis of intelligence is not a ’Sherlock Holmes' type of exercise in which brilliant conclusions can quickly be drawn from a mass of apparently unconnected material. On the contrary, analysis of intelligence is a laborious task requiring skilled staff to pore over many pieces of information. Not only must the person

undertaking the analysis be conditioned to this painstaking and somewhat boring task, but he must also have an orderly mind which is attuned to recognising inter-connections and correctly evaluating the significance of the material before him.

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The last step, dissemination of the intelligence to the operative arm of law enforcement, may be done in different ways, depending on the circumstances. It may be, for example, that in the course of an

operation, law enforcement officers require factual information which has been collated and stored. Here what is required is a quick response giving the information required to the operational team. In addition to satisfying operational enquiries, there is also a requirement to

disseminate intelligence to operational personnel on a programmed or scheduled basis. Intelligence reports of this kind may be factual or they may suggest a completely new target or line of enquiry.

Alternatively, they may provide a full picture to an operational team which has been alerted by the discovery of a fragment of a picture. Finally, they may report trends which require operational investigation.

There are two important overriding considerations which must be borne in mind when discussing intelligence. The first is that the intelligence officers must regard their work as the provision of a service to operational teams. It is not their function to direct

operations. The second consideration is that a high level of security must be observed in relation to the intelligence. This means that, from the time of its collection to the time of its storage, the information must be protected and of course there must be quite strict physical

controls upon the premises in which the information is kept. The information base should be subject to interrogation only by persons whose duties require them to use the information. Likewise the intelligence analysis reports should be disseminated only on a 'need to

know' basis. The failure to observe this security can have disastrous results. Firstly, the safety of members of the public who have

contributed information will be jeopardised. Secondly, if criminals can penetrate the security screen, operations will be detrimentally affected. Thirdly, too ready an access by enforcement officers to the intelligence can also add confusion to operations.

If there is a system which properly implements the steps in the intelligence chain referred to above so that intelligence can be speedily disseminated to operational teams having due regard to security, then enforcement is provided with a tool of great value in its

fight against drug trafficking.Unfortunately, Australian drug law enforcement agencies tend to lack this type of effective intelligence facility.

Law enforcement in Australia is, for constitutional reasons, the responsibility of a number of agencies. Each State and the Northern Territory has a police force with an area of operations bounded by the geographical limits of the State or Territory. In the case of crime

that is entirely restricted to the area of operation of one agency, that agency can quite properly retain all intelligence concerning it. When criminal activities are conducted by a group of people spanning more than one geographical area it becomes essential for the law enforcement agencies with responsibility for the areas concerned to make available to one another intelligence upon the activities involved. If this is not done each agency sees only its own part of the picture and its action will consequently be ineffective to a greater or lesser degree. The Commission has no doubt that methods used in drug trafficking in

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Australia, except at the street level, almost invariably involve the performance of acts or the involvement of persons in more than one State or Territory. In addition, the people performing the acts of obtaining, transporting, and distributing the drugs are usually highly mobile and

take elaborate steps to adopt an innocent guise to defeat surveillance by law enforcement agencies. It is essential that Australian criminal drug intelligence which is not demonstrably of local significance only is immediately after collection drawn together at one place for collation, storage, and analysis.

At the present time criminal drug intelligence in Australia is not aggregated in any one place. On the contrary, law enforcement agencies tend to retain the intelligence they have gathered. This intelligence is usually made available to another agency only on request or if the agency possessing it requires another agency to assist it.

An effort was made some years ago to establish a central holding of intelligence with the Australia Crime Intelligence Centre administered and staffed by the Commonwealth Police Force in Canberra. The Australia Crime Intelligence Centre never achieved much more than a holding of information on drug-related crime of historical interest only. The intention was that the State and Territory police forces and the Narcotics Bureau were to provide information to the Australia Crime

Intelligence Centre. This information was transmitted by completing a Drug Intelligence Report in relation to each occurrence such as a seizure or prosecution. These reports were then sent to the Australia Crime Intelligence Centre. Unfortunately, the law enforcement agencies as a whole have never provided the reports regularly, promptly and accurately. Elsewhere in this Report there is discussion of the validity of the historical picture presented by the Australia Crime

Intelligence Centre reports. Compol had appointed liaison officers for the purpose of liaising with the State police forces in relation to the provision of the Drug Intelligence Reports. The Commission sees little point in setting out here the reasons why the co-operation from the police forces and the Narcotics Bureau has been less than satisfactory. The material provided in the Drug Intelligence Reports cannot be

regarded, in the Commission's opinion, as adequate raw material for the operation of a satisfactory intelligence system. Much of it is material that would be more properly directed to the Drug Information Centres recommended in Chapter 6 of this Part of the Report.

Others who have examined the intelligence systems of Australian law enforcement bodies have reached conclusions similar to those reached by this Commission. Mr Justice Hope in his 'Protective Security Review Report' of May 1979 noted that counter-terrorist intelligence roles in Australia were beset with jurisdictional problems and disputes

'resulting, inter alia, from Australia's federal system of government'. He went on:

The fragmentation of the system results in overlapping responsibilities, duplication of effort and rivalries. Many of these problems could be overcome and disputes avoided or minimised if a proper spirit of co-operation existed in the

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various bodies. Although the degree of co-operation varies at different times and places, and in different circumstances, my impression from a mass of discussions and observations is that overall co-operation is inadequate.

Sir Robert Mark, in his 'Report to the Minister for Administrative Services on the Organisation of Police Resources in the Commonwealth Area and other Related Matters', dated 6 April 1978, stressed the necessity for providing common police services in Australia and providing closer co-ordination for police purposes between the Commonwealth Government and the States. He recommended:

...that consideration be given to reserving up to 10% of the Australian Federal Police establishment deployed to each State for personnel from the police force of that State on secondment for not less than one nor more than two years.

(OT 17439)

He also recommended that later consideration should be given to the seconding of Australian Federal Police personnel to State police forces.

Sir Robert also considered the desirability of a national police computer system in Appendix 'C ' to his report. For convenience this is reproduced as Annex XIV. 1 at the end of this Chapter. What is

recommended in the Commission's Report is believed by the Commission to be compatible with Sir Robert Mark's views on a national police computer system. Indeed, it may well be that the urgency of the problems created by drug trafficking will prompt the development of solutions which will

constitute the initial step towards the creation of a truly national police intelligence facility which in time could be served by the computer system which Sir Robert discussed.

The most recent appreciation of intelligence as a support for Australian law enforcement bodies dealing with drug trafficking was made by the New South Wales Royal Commission into Drug Trafficking. The Commissioner, Mr Justice Woodward, pointed out the present deficiencies

and recommended that a single joint Commonwealth-State intelligence system be established (Recommendation No. 34).

This Commission has observed that many serving law enforcement officers at the lower levels exchange information readily with their opposite numbers in other agencies. Confidence and trust seem to be possible at these levels once the officers in question have come to know

each other. It appears that at higher levels there is less confidence in trusting members of other forces. It is inmaterial whether this occurs because of a defensive attitude to one's own agency, because of a distrust of other agencies or because of political considerations. Personal prejudices and political considerations ought not to be put before the interests of the Australian people. The Commission is

recommending measures which address the problem of fragmentation in drug intelligence. It believes that its recommendations, if implemented, will overcome the current situation described by the New South Wales

Royal Commission into Drug Trafficking in the following words:

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It is clear that intelligence is not compared and not collated. Instances have occurred of the New South Wales Police

investigating a group, guided by such intelligence as the New South Wales system holds, and the Federal Narcotics Bureau investigating simultaneously the same or an overlapping group with only their exclusive intelligence. And without

improvement, further such instances can be expected to occur in the future. As a considerable proportion of drugs are imported under present administrative arrangements both State and Federal organisations increasingly conduct parallel unco­ ordinated police operations. Inappropriately-timed arrests and interventions have already occurred and are likely to continue.

(Open Exhibit 687, p. 1628)

This Commission is of the view that a National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre should be set up and that in each State or Territory there should be set up a State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre. The Commission is of the opinion that to promote trust and confidence with a view to securing co-operation, it will be necessary to involve the States very substantially in the National Centre and that likewise it will be necessary to involve the Commonwealth heavily in the State

Centres. The State body should be able to obtain all the criminal drug intelligence in the area of the State. This means that it is essential that Commonwealth law enforcement bodies operating within a State pass any State-related drug information they collect directly to the State

Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre. There is no point in a State Centre having only part of the information collected in its geographical area. Any temptation for Commonwealth agents to report only to their Head Office in Canberra must be resisted at all costs.

The State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre in each State should be administered by the State police department, but its staffing by State police officers should be supplemented by officers seconded from the Australian Federal Police and the Bureau of Customs. The regional head

of the Australian Federal Police and the Collector of Customs for the State should be responsible for selecting officers for secondment. Secondments should be for a period of at least two years if possible. The State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre in each State will receive all information collected within the State but will pass on immediately to the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre all material of other than purely local interest. This passing on of appropriate intelligence will be the result of the first step of collation by the State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre. Material not passed on will then be properly collated and stored and made the subject of analysis by intelligence officers in that Centre. The Centre will then disseminate to State police and officers of Federal police and to the Bureau of Customs operating within the State the results of its analyses, paying appropriate attention to the necessity for security. The State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre will liaise with the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre so that it will receive reports from the latter Centre and pass them to the enforcement bodies operating within the State.

The National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre should be administered by the Australian Federal Police but, similarly its

DAO

staffing by Australian Federal Police officers should be supplemented by officers from the Bureau of Customs and from State police forces. Secondments should, where possible, be for a period of at least two years. The National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre will be

responsible for international liaison whether through Interpol or Narcotics liaison officers stationed overseas. The latter will be Australian Federal Police officers, or alternatively, State police officers on secondment. Effective and close liaison between the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre, the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre and the Joint Intelligence Organization should be

established by the appointment of an officer of the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre as liaison officer to each of the other two bodies which in turn should each appoint a liaison officer to the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre. It is not envisaged that

liaison would ordinarily take a lot of time. It is highly desirable, however, that within each of these bodies there is a knowledge of what the other bodies do and a capacity to achieve a quick response when assistance is required. The Commission's concept of the management and co-ordination of the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre and of the information flows to and from the Centre are set out in Figure XIV.1. on the following page.

It has been mentioned above that each State Centre will be

administered by State police and the National Centre by the Australian Federal Police. What is envisaged is that the respective

administrations be responsible for all the 'housekeeping' of the Centre in question. As each Centre is providing a service rather than

performing an operational role, it should be able to work with a considerable degree of autonomy with respect to its parent organisation. As the staff of each Centre will include seconded personnel from outside the administering agency, it is desirable that there should be a Policy Committee set up for the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre and for each State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre. The National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre Policy Committee should be

chaired by the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police or his nominee, and its membership should be drawn from nominees of the State and Northern Territory Commissioners of Police and the Comptroller- General of Customs. Each State Policy Committee should be chaired by the State Commissioner of Police, and its membership should comprise the Collector of Customs of the area or his nominee and the Commanding

officer of the Australian Federal Police for the area or his nominee. There seems to the Commission to be more in favour of incorporating Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres than not doing so.

The Commission sees these proposed arrangements as capable of providing a first-rate intelligence service to assist law enforcement bodies in combating drug trafficking. It also believes that the structure proposed can be adapted to provide intelligence about criminal

activities unconnected with drugs. It believes too that the

Commonwealth representation in State Centres and the State

representation in the National Centre will assist in breaking down the barriers that presently exist and which seriously inhibit the operation of an effective drug intelligence service in Australia. The Commission further believes that the trust which will be engendered among the

agencies should prove of lasting benefit to Australian law enforcement.

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Figure XIV.1

NATIONAL CRIMINAL DRUG INTELLIGENCE CENTRE (PROPOSED)

1. MANAGEMENT & CO-ORDINATION

Commissioner, A.F.P. Representatives— State & Northern Territory Police Bureau of Customs

Policy Committee

Australian Federal Police (AFP)

Management

Staffed by A.F.P. Secondments from—

• State Police • Bureau of Customs

National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre

Liaison with

• Department of Transport

• Joint Intelligence Organisation

2. INFORMATION FLOWS

Regional Forensic Laboratories

Overseas National Criminal Intelligence

Overseas Liaison

National Drug Information Centre (Proposed)

State & Territorial Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres

Bureau of Customs

Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre

National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre

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The return to their own agencies of seconded officers will, it is hoped, create within all Australian agencies a proper appreciation of the value of a good intelligence system. The experience which officers working in the intelligence area gain should be of great value in their subsequent

careers and it might be expected that, in the course of time, a period of service at a drug intelligence centre is seen as a necessary pre­ requisite to promotion to higher office.

The proposed Uniform Drug Trafficking Act discussed in Chapter 3 of this Part of the Report will give wide powers to law enforcement agencies in relation to search warrants, telephone tapping, mail interception, use of electronic surveillance equipment, and obtaining information from revenue and foreign exchange authorities. The Commission has considered carefully what practical safeguards should be introduced to prevent abuse of these powers. Additionally there is a question of their most effective use.

It is the Commission's recommendation that these powers be controlled by the nearest Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre. There are a number of reasons for this:

* It is unlikely that operational requirements will be impeded by obtaining the Centre's permission or by having the Centre apply for a judicial warrant where this is necessary.

* The Centre, by reason of its intelligence holdings, should have a

good appreciation of the necessity for using the power.

* The Centre will be a joint Commonwealth/State body and this will constitute an extra check on abuse of the powers.

* A continuing body like the Centre will have the opportunity to evolve a code of practice relating to the use of the powers which field teams operating ad hoc would experience difficulty in doing.

* The documentation relating to the exercise of the powers will be kept in a central place for production if ever required.

* More confidence will exist in the accuracy of regular returns to be

made to the Drug Information Centre on the use of the powers if they are made by the Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre from its own records.

* The Commission proposes to recommend that the successful applicant for a judicial warrant in the case of potentially serious invasions of privacy should report back to the judge who issued the warrant upon the result of its execution. If the applicant must always be

the Director of the Centre or his nominee, judicial supervision will be more effective.

* Any leakage of information or improper use of information obtained as a result of the extension of the power will clearly be the responsibility of the Centre.

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Annex XIV.1

POLICE NATIONAL COMPUTER SYSTEM (Appendix to Report, of Sir Robert Mark)

1. The initial investigation of a police national computer system began in 1970 after a Conference of Police Commissioners agreed that co­ operation in the common information areas was essential. A Working Party was established and although it met over several years, little progress was made.

2. Eventually a study team was appointed in 1976 and a feasibility report for a police national computer system was subsequently produced in October 1976.

3. It was suggested that a Police national computer authority be established and there were recommendations as to how this should be developed. There were however dissenting viewpoints from the representatives of the Commonwealth, South Australia and Queensland Forces. The latter disagreed with the proposal to site the computer service in Canberra. No further action has been taken on the feasibility report.

4. In October 1977 the Department of Administrative Services submitted proposals for the introduction of a computer based management information and communication system for the Commonwealth Police.

5. Referring to the keeping of records it was mentioned that because of the growing complexity of police tasks and the increasing mobility of criminals, manual systems have become decreasingly effective in satisfying the needs of both police in the field and police management for rapid access to information. The report goes on to

say that the disjointed nature of the current manually based information system makes it difficult to guarantee the accuracy, completeness or security of all components of a record on any particular person, and further, that urgent communications are by telex or telephone and these are not secure.

6. Referring to the proposals for a police national computer system it is stated that negotiations are not expected to reach any degree of finality in the near future. Because of this the Department of Administrative Services report declares that the design of the Commonwealth Police Computer System has taken into account two possibilities:

(a) that it will need to interact with a separate 1 national police system1; or

(b) that it will be required to service additional federal applications, i.e. persons, vehicles and property of police interest.

7. All these proposals have been studied with great interest while at the same time bearing in mind the problems which have been

experienced with the Police National Computer system in the United Kingdom. It is pertinent to mention that the preparatory work for this system commenced in England in 1964 and even now only a very limited amount of information is available to all police forces.

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8. Feasibility studies in respect of computer systems are notoriously optimistic. Illusions of saving in staff are illustrated and a grand view is presented of the 'promised land'. There is no doubt that a comprehensive police record system is a very complex matter and proposals to computerise these records must be approached with

great caution. Very large sums of money are involved and the police requirement must be thoroughly appreciated at the outset. It is easy to finish up with a computer system that technicians think the police should have rather than what the police really need.

9. Undoubtedly there is an urgent need for a police national computer in Australia and unless a determined assault on this problem is made now police record systems will gradually grind to a halt. At the moment the same information is being recorded as many as nine times

in police forces in Australia; it is not uncommon for delays of many hours to occur between requesting information and receiving a reply and, as a result, police are dissuaded from making enquiries because of the delays.

10. It is therefore suggested that rapid progress can only be made by deciding at the outset that a nationally deployed but interlocking police computer system will be funded by the Federal Government and that it will become a common police service.

11. The whole philosophy, strategy and tactics for a police national computer should be re-examined taking account of:

(a) the sovereignty of States and the need to ensure their full co­ operation ;

(b) the requirement to maintain one record of each transaction;

(c) the fact that the vast majority of crime is local (probably as high as 80%) and the extent of circulation needs to be

carefully examined;

(d) the probability that many years will elapse before a total system evolves;

(e) the certainty that there is a suppressed demand with any computerised index and this should be catered for at the design stage. There are of course other factors well known to systems analysts and too many to mention here.

12. A feature of the Australian police scene is that there are only nine police forces which is financially attractive for any national index because of the comparatively few remote terminals required as compared with the United Kingdom situation.

13. It is therefore recommended that a decision be made now to establish a Police National Computer System for each of the police force areas of Australia by agreement between the Federal and State Governments.

14. All the computer installations should have compatible equipment and by message switching devices be capable of searching specified national indices.

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15. The approach in both hardware and software should be modular in concept in order to facilitate future modification, enhancement and potential development. In fact the installation would undoubtedly act as the catalyst for each State or Territory to embark upon

further projects to computerise force records; and this kind of development would revolutionise police record keeping and retrieval.

16. There are several attractive computer packages on the market now and to be assured that the national system got off to a good start it might be advisable to begin with:

(a) vehicle owners index;

(b) stolen vehicle index;

and as previously mentioned, take careful account of the suppressed demand.

17. Other indices which might follow and which should not be too difficult are:

(a) wanted and missing persons;

(b) identifiable stolen property;

(c) firearms.

18. Progression might then extend to the more difficult areas of:

(a) criminal names;

(b) criminal histories and convictions;

(c) fingerprints.

19. It must be remembered that about 12 months before the system 'goes live' a good training system must be devised for terminal operators and an 1 education scheme' launched in each force area to familiarise all officers with the project and its capabilities. Without this any computer scheme will have a slow start and through ignorance lose credibility.

20. There are obviously some very high costs to be faced, not least of which will be the good quality communication links to each force. However these dedicated police lines would supply a long awaited solution to the present problems of insecure message transmission between all police forces of Australia.

21. The main attraction of this suggested scheme is that there would be:

(a) only one record in respect of each transaction;

(b) a sharing of record conversation by each force (invaluable for criminal names, convictions and fingerprints);

(c) a much more secure and simple concept than one national computer complex to which all forces had access;

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(d) a much shorter time scale involved;

(e) less likely to be objections by State and Territory forces;

(f) financial savings.

22. It is inevitable that police records of one kind or another will continue to increase at a steady rate, or even accelerate. A police service without a good record retrieval system is like a ship without a rudder. To quote Mark Twain 'We had better be concerned

about the future for that is where we are going to be spending the rest of our lives'.

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Chapter 5 Drugs o f Dependence Acts — Comm onwealth, S tate and Territory L egislation on Drug Abuse

To the present time, abuse of drugs of dependence has not been treated by Australian legislatures as one topic. A number of witnesses saw this as a grave disadvantage and urged the need for uniformity of

legislation. The South Australian Royal Commission into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs attached to its report a model Act to deal with drugs of dependence. Part V of this Report, 'Legislation', shows that

legislative provisions upon drugs of dependence are scattered throughout the statute books. A Uniform Drug Trafficking Act to combat the larger traffickers has been recommended by this Commission. Once drug trafficking has been dealt with in a Uniform Act, the following drug-

related matters remain the subject of existing legislation:

* the importation and exportation of drugs;

* the manufacture of drugs;

* the distribution of drugs by wholesalers;

- - authority to use or prescribe drugs ;

* forgery of prescriptions;

* prohibitions upon the making, use, possession and distribution by non-authorised persons of drugs of abuse; and

* treatment and rehabilitation of drug-dependent persons.

There are also matters not embraced by existing legislation which, in the Commission's opinion, ought to be made the subject of

legislation. One example is legislative controls over treatment agencies.

Some of the matters mentioned above, such as the importation and exportation of drugs, should be subject solely to Commonwealth control. Most of the matters, in the Commission's view, should be the subject of control by the States.

States and Territories

In each State and the Northern Territory there should be enacted a 'Drugs of Dependence Act'. So far as possible these Acts should be uniform. Under this Act should be gathered the provisions dealing with drugs of dependence. The main benefits arising from this course are that it will:

* focus attention on the problem of drug abuse;

* achieve considerable uniformity throughout Australia;

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" facilitate the collection of statistical and other information upon matters of drug abuse;

* simplify the legislation on drug abuse at the user level;

“ provide a co-ordinating body at the State level for the activities of law enforcement bodies and agencies dealing with treatment and rehabilitation; and

" decrease the diversion of legal drugs for drug abuse.

The Commission believes that in the first instance the only drugs which should be the subject of the Act are drugs of dependence other than alcohol and tobacco. Once a new drug is identified as a drug of abuse it should be brought within the operation of the Act.

Drugs other than drugs of dependence should be left subject to the same control as presently exists under State legislation. As has been pointed out, double authorising and double licensing will not be necessary. The Commission proposes to produce and publish a detailed specification of what a State Drugs of Dependence Act should contain. The following is a general summary.

A State Drugs of Dependence Act should:

* deal with the controls which are imposed because a drug is one of dependence rather than because it is a controlled therapeutic substance;

* contain in one place the prohibitions against illegal drugs, which are now sometimes found in different Acts;

* provide penalties for breaches of the provisions;

* give statutory power to require treatment agencies to provide information to the proposed Drug Information Centres;

* incorporate provisions to effect the specific recommendations made

elsewhere in this Report, which are considered to be appropriate for Drugs of Dependence legislation. These recommendations include:

(a) a requirement for pharmacists to forward copies of all NH & MRC Schedule 8 prescriptions to the responsible body (B259). This body should be the Drugs of Dependence Unit;

(b) the requirement that medical practitioners obtain ' certain' information from persons requesting narcotic drugs (B260);

(c) the requirement that pharmacists verify prescriptions for specified drugs of addiction (B260);

(d) provisions for the uniform scheduling of drugs of dependence (B260) ;

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(e) the setting up of Drugs of Dependence Units (C68);

(f) the registration of treatment services (C68);

(g) the keeping of a register of persons treated for dependence upon narcotic drugs (C68) and a special register of persons undergoing narcotic maintenance (C69);

(h) the appointment of an independent referral agency (C70);

(i) the creation and development of diversionary programs for illegal drug users (C70);

(j) adoption of the NH & MRC recommendations of April 1977 on controls over analgesics (C175);

(k) prohibition of the use or possession of methaqualone or Mandrax or any other drug of which methaqualone constitutes a part after 30 June 1980 (C205); and

(l) inclusion of pentazocine as a Schedule 8 drug (C209);

* contain provisions to permit the expunging of convictions and

conditional discharges without conviction by Courts as part of the proposed statutory diversionary scheme (C70);

* create an offence of failing to follow a course of treatment where a promise to undergo such treatment has been made to a Court by a person convicted of an offence against the drug use laws; and

* create the proposed State Drug Information Centres.

The A.C.T. should have its own Drugs of Dependence legislation, and it might be desirable that this be an A.C.T. Ordinance. There seems considerable benefit in constituting the A.C.T. Drugs of Dependence Unit by the same personnel in the Commonwealth Department of Health who

constitute the Drugs of Dependence Unit under the Commonwealth Act. This would give the Commonwealth Unit valuable grass roots experience and avoid the need for a special A.C.T. unit.

Just as the Drugs of Dependence Acts will concentrate in one Act the legislation dealing with drugs of dependence, the executive power presently exercised by health authorities in relation to drugs of dependence should be brought together in a special unit or section. This special section might be called the Drugs of Dependence Unit. More

detailed attention is given to Drugs of Dependence Units later in this Chapter.

Controls in existing State legislation over drugs and poisons do not require a special authorisation for professionals, like doctors, dentists and veterinary surgeons, to deal with drugs of dependence as opposed to other controlled substances. A general authorisation as a professional permits the professional to deal with drugs of dependence. The proposed Drugs of Dependence Act should provide for all controls

over drugs of dependence, but double authorisation or double licensing

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could be avoided by providing in the Act that a person authorised under other legislation to deal with drugs in State Poisons Acts generally is also authorised under this Act to deal with drugs of dependence.

The Drugs of Dependence Act will be of considerable use in directing drug dependent persons towards treatment and rehabilitation rather than towards conviction in the Courts. The Act should give statutory recognition to this as the preferred course. One such method is a diversionary scheme with a proper statutory base. The diversionary scheme which has evolved before the lower courts in New South Wales is not working satisfactorily, partly because it has not a proper statutory base, but also because there is no proper system of follow-up. If a magistrate imposes a light penalty or no penalty at all because a convicted person has undertaken to follow a course of treatment, it is essential that the result be reported back to the magistrate so that he can in an informed way adjudicate on like cases in the future. On the other hand many people who have obtained leniency from the courts on the promise that they will follow treatment do not in fact undergo treatment as they have promised. It is impossible to force a person to be cured but it is not unreasonable to make him pay a penalty if he breaks his promise to the Court.

The Commission proposes the creation of an offence of failing to undergo treatment, the promise of which attracted leniency from a court. When a Court acts leniently towards an offender, it should notify the State Drugs of Dependence Unit which then should observe the course of the offender's treatment and initiate a prosecution if he defaults. The success or failure of the Court's order in relation to the offender will be communicated back to the Court by the Drugs of Dependence Unit which will also pass on the result in the normal course of providing

statistical information to the State Drug Information Centre.

In the case of some offences against drug use laws, it might be appropriate to try to avoid the recording of a conviction if the offender co-operates. At page C267 the Commission concluded that there should be available to all Australian Courts a power to discharge a drug user conditionally without conviction, even if the charge of using an illegal drug is proved, provided that the Court is of the opinion that it is in the public interest that the offender be conditionally discharged rather than convicted. If the offender honours the conditions upon which he was conditionally discharged he will escape having a conviction recorded against him.

The Commission's conclusion that an order expunging a conviction (from a convicting Court) should be obtainable by youthful offenders against drug laws,was expressed at page C267. The Drugs of Dependence Unit should also act as the executive authority for causing convictions to be expunged from a convicted person's record after a fixed period of time,provided that no offences have been committed by the convicted person in the meantime. The unit should be satisfied that the order of the Court directing the expunging of a conviction is carried out by the destruction of all criminal records. A conviction once expunged will, according to law, never have happened, except that for statistical

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purposes it will continue to be recorded as a conviction, but without any reference to the convicted person's name. The proper place for this merely statistical record to remain is in a State Drug Information Centre.

Commonwealth

The Commission suggests the enactment of a Commonwealth Drugs of Dependence Act to govern:

* importation and exportation of drugs;

* manufacture of narcotic drugs; and

* wholesale supply of those drugs covered by the Single Convention on

Narcotic Drugs and the Convention on Psychotropic Substances to require wholesalers to report their sales of such drugs.

In addition, the Commonwealth legislation should set up a National Drug Information Centre. Drug dependency questions in the Australian Capital Territory could be dealt with in the Commonwealth Act or by an A.C.T. Ordinance.

As has already been stated, the Commonwealth Drugs of Dependence legislation should govern the importation and exportation of drugs of dependence. In addition, under the quota system for narcotic drugs resulting from the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the Commonwealth

law will continue to govern the manufacture of narcotic drugs within the meaning of that Convention. The Convention's definition does not encompass the formulation of drugs. The definition of psychotropic substances in the Convention on Psychotropic Substances is considerably wider. However no international quotas have been set for psychotropic

substances, so it seems proper to leave the controls upon the

formulation of narcotic drugs and the manufacture (including formulation) of psychotropic drugs to State law.

There remains one area of difficulty with narcotic and psychotropic drugs. The Commission is not convinced that there is an adequate monitoring of drugs when they pass in wholesale quantities from State to State. Interstate trade in these drugs is considerable because the Australian pharmaceutical industry is located predominantly in New South Wales and Victoria. Once drugs in wholesale quantities are within a

State, the State authorities can monitor the sales to retailing pharmacies. The solution in the Commission's view is to require wholesalers of those drugs which are the subject of the two Conventions

to obtain a wholesaler's licence for their wholesale distribution. A wholesaler should report, as required, the quantities of each drug he obtains, the quantity he sells and the quantity he has on hand at the beginning and the end of each year. This machinery would ensure that

interstate wholesale transactions will be properly monitored. Accordingly the Commonwealth Drugs of Dependence Act should contain a provision licensing wholesalers of drugs of dependence.

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The Commonwealth Act should set up the National Drug Information Centre which has already been mentioned. National and State Drug Information Centres are discussed at length in Chapter 6.

There should be created within each State health authority a Drugs of Dependence Unit with primary responsibility for the administration of the Drugs of Dependence Act. A professional person such as a veterinary surgeon, if authorised generally under the Poisons Regulations to deal with drugs, will not require any further authority under the Drugs of Dependence Act. His use of drugs of dependence however will be monitored by the Drugs of Dependence Unit, which will be responsible for

initiating any proceedings against him for acting outside his authority in relation to drugs of dependence. The Drugs of Dependence Unit will be responsible for detecting forged prescriptions and for monitoring the over-prescription of drugs of dependence by professional people. The Act will contain provisions making it an offence to manufacture, use or

distribute drugs of dependence without an authority under the Act, and it is under this provision that the police should also investigate and cause to be prosecuted all offences. In dealing with offences allegedly committed by professional people, the police would be supported by pharmacy inspectors and like professionals from within the Drugs of Dependence Unit. This Unit will have close links with the Drug Information Centre, to which it will be passing, and from which it will be receiving, a considerable amount of information. The professionals in the Drugs of Dependence Unit would be able to counsel professionals in private practice to:

* prevent offences being committed;

* assist in areas where the private practitioner needs specialised knowledge on drug abuse trends; and

* minimise over-prescription.

Police prosecution should be the last resort.

As a co-ordinator the Drugs of Dependence Unit should be able to adopt an approach to the user/addict which is neither unduly permissive nor unduly punitive. It will recognise, as the Commission has found, that few abusers could be regarded as fully responsible persons because

their dependence on drugs warps judgment and distorts reality. They could generally be compared with the problem drinker whose dependence on alcohol is much greater than he admits and who will not scruple to tell lies or use other evasions to conceal that truth from others and from himself. In the case of the addict, however, there is the further

complication that in most cases he is concerned to proselytize others into drug abuse. The Drugs of Dependence Unit should be able to modify the approach of the police, which understandably tends to be punitive, by convincing them that it is better to bring petty users into the

treatment sphere at an early stage rather than to have convictions. The Unit should also be able to modify the too permissive approach that sometimes occurs in the treatment area by ensuring that treatment is in fact undergone when treatment is indicated. This concurs with the attitude of those whom the Commission regards as the more realistic

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authorities in the drug and alcohol abuse area; unfortunately these authorities presently lack the necessary powers.

The overseeing of forged prescriptions and the monitoring of over­ prescription of drugs of dependence should give the Drugs of Dependence Unit access to information that is of great value in co-ordinating the efforts of enforcement and treatment.

Alcohol and Tobacco

The Commission has already stated its conviction that alcohol and tobacco should, as soon as is practicable after Drug Information Centres are in operation, be brought within their purview. These drugs have been discussed in Part XII Chapters 1 and 2. Some special remarks on these drugs of dependence are desirable in the context of a national

strategy, and it seems most appropriate to make them here in the context of the proposed Drugs of Dependence Acts.

Alcohol is already the subject of numerous controls under State Acts.· It is of course the subject of Commonwealth controls for certain pur­ poses, a principal one being the exacting of customs and excise duties. Alcohol is a drug which, because of its social acceptance in Australia,

cannot be controlled entirely under a Drugs of Dependence Act. The State Acts provide which premises may be licensed to distribute liquor, when licences may be forfeited, the standard of furnishings required in licensed premises, and many other matters which are relevant to the

social use of alcohol rather than to questions of its abuse. Alcohol abuse having been identified as a grave problem in the Australian community, logic would suggest that alcohol should be treated as a drug of dependence for all purposes. However, given the historical place of

alcohol in our society, logic must give way to practical considerations. The compromise which tne Commission proposes is:

* the Drugs of Dependence Units and the Drug Information Centres should first work on other drugs so that these agencies may be established and settled down;

* later on, the monitoring of alcohol use and abuse, might be taken up by the Drug Information Centres; and

* finally, controls upon the abuse of alcohol rather than controls

upon its use should be brought within Drugs of Dependence

legislation for the purpose of identifying abusers and providing treatment and rehabilitation. Other controls upon its use should remain where they are.

Although what might be called the social controls of alcohol will remain with authorities constituted under State Acts, the Commission is of the view that the Drug Information Centres will soon achieve a standing which would make their opinion of value to the authorities constituted under the State Acts. At the present time, the

administration of these Acts tends to reflect the conflict between the interests of persons desiring to profit from the sale of alcohol, the

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desire of governments to obtain revenue from taxing it, the

determination of some persons to prohibit its use absolutely, and the wish of other persons to prohibit the establishment of liquor outlets near their homes. No one is endeavouring to produce solid and accurate

information on use and abuse of alcohol and it is not surprising that one doubts that the correct decisions are always made under the State Acts .

It has been pointed out to the Commission that governments are guilty of double standards in that they take revenue from legal drugs without earmarking sufficient money for the treatment of the casualties of their excessive use. The question arises whether more of the public moneys accruing to the States in the form of license fees and to the Commonwealth in the form of customs and excise duties, should not be used and be seen to be used in the education, treatment and

rehabilitation of the casualties of all kinds of drug abuse.

For the financial year which ended 30 June 1979, Commonwealth excise duties on alcohol totalled $1 047 685 000, and on tobacco $654 182 000. For the same period Customs duties on alcohol were $152 504 000 and on tobacco $49 808 000. This is a total revenue of $1 904 179 000.

Naturally there were significant costs in collecting this revenue, but as the total amount spent by the Commonwealth on drug education in the same period was $1 200 000 there is force in the point made to the

Commission.

Commonwealth funding for drug rehabilitation and treatment cannot be measured accurately. Spending comes from the Community Health Program administered by the Commonwealth Department of Health, from which grants are made available to the States for particular programs. There are no

specific amounts that could be identified as expenditure on drug rehabilitation and treatment.

Receipts in licensing fees under State Liquor Acts for the financial year ended 30 June 1979, as supplied by State and Territory Licensing Courts or their equivalent, were as follows:

New South Wales

1 9 7 8 - - 7 9

C $ ' o o o )

5 6 6 0 5

Victoria 3 3 0 9 5

Queensland 25 7 3 4

South Australia 11 2 1 4

Western Australia 14 0 6 2

Tasmania 4 2 0 0

Australian Capital Territory 2 3 4 9 Northern Territory 1 4 6 0

148 7 1 9

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Expenditures by States on drug education cannot, as mentioned above, be identified but generally they are included in the expenditures incurred by alcohol and drug authorities or like agencies. Expenditures by drug and alcohol authorities in the financial year ended 30 June

1979, as supplied by State and Territory health authorities, were as follows:

1978 — 79 ($’000)

New South Wales 1 966

Victoria 217

Queensland 1 741

South Australia 1 400

Western Australia 2 239

Tasmania 28

Australian Capital Territory 101

Northern Territory 35

7 727

The expenditures on public hospitals, some part of which is expended on drug rehabiliation and treatment, for the same period, as supplied by State and Territory health authorities, was as follows:

1978--7'9 ($'' 000)

New South Wales 1 159 661

Victoria 496 282

Queensland 362 400

South Australia 255 900

Western Australia 259 924

Tasmania 83 426

Australian Capital Territory 43 577

Northern Territory 26 986

2 688 156

Tobacco stands in a position different from alcohol in that smoking does not intoxicate the user. In the form of cigarettes, tobacco has been demonstrated to cause health impairment to long term users because of the inhalation of the smoke into their lungs. The social costs of

cigarette smoking emerge from hospitalisation expenses and not from direct injury to members of the community other than users. The use of tobacco should be monitored by Drug Information Centres. There should be controls under the Drugs of Dependence legislation which should be

limited in the first instance to prohibiting distribution of tobacco to young people, say under the age of sixteen years.

The Commission appreciates that there is a good argument that the conclusions and recommendations it has made here relating to alcohol and tobacco are outside its Terms of Reference. The Commission certainly did not undertake any specific study of these two drugs, but it received

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enough evidence on them in the context of illegal drug abuse in this country to conclude that any national strategy on illegal drug abuse which fails to take account of them is doomed to failure.

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Chapter 6 Drug inform ation Centres — Statistical Shortcom ings and a M eans o f Overcoming Them Policy decisions whether governmental, business or personal, are far better made on the basis of hard statistical evidence on past

performance with, where possible, reference to projections of future trends.

No government, State or Federal, would bring down a budget without reference to a vast range of statistical economic indicators; no business would plan for the ensuing year without close study of the previous year’s trading records, balance sheets, profit and loss

statements and the like; no sensible individual would estimate his or her income tax commitment without making some attempt to compare current and previous years' incomes while at the same time allowing for changes which may have occurred in taxation schedules.

The requirement for reliable statistical information as a basis for policy making activity is easily justified. The Commission must emphasise that its extremely difficult task of framing recommendations for policy initiatives in the drug field was made all the more

complicated by deficiencies in the statistical information available to it. Frequently throughout this Report the Commission has been obliged to point to a paucity of statistical information on many topics relevant to its Terms of Reference. One example appears at pages B258 and B259.

Even in those areas where at first glance there appeared to be sufficient reliable data, a more thorough investigation revealed on many occasions that the data were subject to shortcomings of sufficient magnitude to make them unsuitable as a basis for policy recommendation. While the Commission would have much appreciated better statistical material, the difficulties it faced as a result are not really the main point of concern. Far more important is the fact that policy making

agencies in the drug field-- be they involved with law enforcement, the provision of treatment facilities, education or whatever-- similarly have been denied this basic information. It is axiomatic that their policy decisions have suffered and funds have been expended to a lesser effect as a result. This is particularly so because the ’drug scene', which they all in some fashion attempt to control, has been the subject

of rapid changes.

Although the dearth of reliable statistical information on drug- related matters has extremely important implications for policy making there is another area where its effects are felt also: public awareness. It would seem at present that the general public-- like the professional community-- possesses little knowledge of the extent or pattern of

illegal drug activities. What knowledge exists is distorted. Since the media is the main source of public information it would be easy to lay the blame for this situation at its door. Indeed, on many occasions the media has been accused of serious errors in reporting, most commonly sensationalism, in its coverage of drug-related matters. But this is not

completely fair because the media also suffers from a lack of reliable

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and credible information. Journalists require assistance in this area if they are effectively to fulfil their role in accurately reporting drug-related events and trends in a manner suitable for public consumption.

It needs to be appreciated that this Commission is far from being the first official inquiry to point to a serious lack of reliable statistical information on all aspects of drug use and abuse in Australia. For example, the reports of the Senate Select Committee on Drug Trafficking and Drug Abuse (1971), the Western Australian Honorary Royal Commission Inquiring into the Treatment of Alcohol and Drug Dependence (1973), the Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare

(1977), the Tasmanian Select Committee on Victimless Crime (1978) and the South Australian Royal Commission into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs (1979) all remarked on this problem and made recommendations at various levels of detail as to how they saw it being overcome. One citation, quoted from the 1977 Report of the Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare, is enough:

In discussing the drug debate, we earlier expressed our grave concern at the current low standard of debate. While all the reasons for this are not entirely obvious, one factor is that there is a great lack of that class of data which describes the incidence of drug use in Australia. This lack of data allows those with prejudices to advance their line undeterred by facts. It also leads to much frustration for people working in the field. Often the use of the statistics which do exist is either fragrantly dishonest or dangerously naive.

(Open Exhibit 379, pp. 19--20)

The shortcomings are not confined to Australia as the findings of the Canadian (Le Dain) Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs (1973) illustrate. On his return from the 28th Congress of the International Commission on Narcotic Drugs held in Geneva early in 1979, Dr D. de Souza, First Assistant Director-General, Therapeutics Division, Commonwealth Department of Health, noted that a resolution had again been carried urging the governments of all member nations to take steps

to improve the quantity and quality of statistical information on drug- related matters (OT 21052).

Some countries have taken significant initiatives in attempting to overcome these deficiencies. Perhaps the best known example is the United States' Drug Alert Warning Network (the DAWN system) which began operation in 1972. On the basis of data relating to defined drug abuse

'episodes' reported from approximately 1300 institutions (hospitals, crisis centres and the like) located in some 30 major cities scattered throughout the country, the DAWN system provides a number of indicator series aimed at early identification of trends in the patterns and characteristics of drug abuse and abusers with the view to facilitating planning anti-drug abuse programs. During one of its overseas study

tours the Commission was impressed by the National Drug Dependence Research Project conducted on behalf of the Government of Malaysia by the Penang University of Science. This project effectively collates drug incident information obtained from Malaysian enforcement and

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treatment agencies on a continuous basis into an overall assessment of the drug situation in that country.

Quite obviously official enquiries do not come to the sort of conclusions mentioned above unaided by evidence as to the reliability of the available statistical data. This Commission was told frequently by reliable witnesses, representing varying interested groups operating in the drug field, of serious statistical deficiencies both general and specific. The Commission received a large volume of evidence on the matter.

Referring to this Commission's Term of Reference C, the original submission of the Commonwealth Department of Health began with the comment that 'the full extent to which drugs are illegally used in Australia is difficult to gauge due to a lack of comprehensive and uniform statistics' (OT 3609). The submission noted that, while some

indication of the size of the drug problem was available from a number of sources, many of these were the subject of serious shortcomings. Recently conducted population surveys, for example, were said to often suffer from problems of poor research design, sample inadequacy and lack

of sophistication and rigour in data analysis. The Department summed up with the comment that 'it is difficult to compare study findings and reach any conclusions other than those of a general nature, i.e. drug use is increasing and illicit drug use is commencing at a younger age'

(OT 3609). In respect of other indicators the Department went on to observe that:

* police and Customs records are of limited value in establishing the

true extent of illegal drug use because of changes in law

enforcement policy and because they include little information on the extent to which drugs available for medicinal purposes, e .g . barbiturates and tranquillisers, are used illegally;

* statistics on drug-related deaths based on forensic toxicological studies are readily available only in New South Wales;

* little work-- and that unco-ordinated---has been done locally on the incidence of serum hepatitis, a possible indicator of intravenous drug use;

* similarly very little research effort has been devoted to detailed long term studies of drug dependent persons and to determining the relationship between the misuse and the illegal use of drugs in Australia (OT 3609--17).

The evidence received on this matter is too much to review

satisfactorily here. Attached to this Chapter as Annex XIV.2 are selections from the evidence which proved to the Commission's satisfaction that not only was statistical information in Australia in a

totally inadequate state but that this fact was well known.

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its sittings and in later assessments of evidence when the Commission felt fully justified in agreeing with the old adage that there are 'lies, damned lies and statistics'. It must also be said immediately that the Commission detected the intentional misuse of statistics inferred by this quotation only on a very limited number of occasions. Far more common in the Commission's experience, and perhaps even more disturbing, was the unintentional misuse of statistical data. In such cases the uninformed reader is convinced of the relevance of a

particular argument unsoundly based on data which are intrinsically deficient. In addition the proponents of the argument are lulled into a false sense of security believing that the available statistics and their interpretation of them are appropriate to the situation and in no need of improvement.

Commonwealth Department of Health evidence mentioned above drew attention to the inadequacy of many Australian population surveys on drug-related subjects. The Commission's own experience supported this assertion. Well-intentioned studies undertaken by various interested bodies on subjects such as drug use patterns within given community groups produced results which frequently and confidently were presented to the Commission as accurate representations of the real situation. On closer scrutiny by the Commission's Statistical Officer it became clear that in many cases these reports were at best somewhat misleading and at worst absolutely worthless due to significant errors in sample survey design, misinterpretations and faulty presentations of the basic survey output.

The Commission did observe that, generally speaking, the more professional the approach adopted in the design of surveys and the presentation of results, the more likely were the researchers to recognise the limitations of their data and to give these limitations prominence in their reports. Even these more sophisticated surveys produced results of limited value since commonality in methodology and presentation was seldom evident and consequently between-survey

comparison of results usually quite impossible. The Commission's misgivings on the adequacy of Australian population survey work in drug- related areas were intensified by the realisation that many of these endeavours had been wholly or partially supported by government funds. By way of illustration it seems appropriate to make brief mention of the Commission's Statistical Officer's assessments of just two of these studies.

The first relates to a rather detailed survey of drug use undertaken in a major provincial city. In this instance the Commonwealth Department of Health provided substantial financial assistance to the researchers who were headed by senior professional officers of a State government agency. Full support was also given by a number of other appropriate State departments. In his summing up, the Statistical Officer was highly critical of the sampling technique employed which, in his opinion, could not be considered to be representative of the target population. He also noted that many of the statistical presentations were quite misleading in that they did not truly reflect the precise meanings of the questions asked. On this basis the Statistical Officer maintained that the survey fell far short of its objectives.

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The second relates to an on-the-spot interviewer type study conducted throughout one State as a community awareness service by an organisation with no other direct involvement in drug-related work. Although the researchers indicated that their results were open to

challenge on the basis of weaknesses in the sampling technique employed, they asserted that 'the basic thrust of the figures' could not be overlooked. In the Statistical Officer's opinion, however, the approach adopted was so inadequate that, in fact, 'the basic thrust of the

figures' should have been completely disregarded. In effect this meant that the results were completely worthless, and that a probably not insubstantial amount of money and the time of a large body of well-

intentioned volunteers had been wasted because of a failure to adhere to even the most rudimentary principles of sample survey design.

Given the circumstances outlined above, and in an attempt to overcome them, the Commission proposes the formation of a network of Drug Information Centres charged with the responsibility of collecting, collating and disseminating all drug-related information with the

exception of criminal intelligence. The proposal envisages the establishment of a National Drug Information Centre in Canberra with a regional Centre (to be called, for example, the Victorian Drug Information Centre) operating in each State capital city and Darwin. It

is further suggested that the National Drug Information Centre and each State Centre be directly answerable to its own Policy Committee comprising appropriate Federal and State government officials. The Chairman of the National Policy Committee, initially at least, should be

the Commonwealth Director-General of Health. The State Committees should be chaired by State Directors-General of Health or their equivalent. The Commission believes that co-operation will be fostered if the Policy Committees have interlocking membership, i.e. the non- Canberra based representatives on the National Committee should also be members of their local State Committees. The Commission refers back to page C70 when, dealing with Treatment in Part X Chapter 5, it

recommended a central authority to advance knowledge in the area of treatment. It is imperative that knowledge in all areas relating to drug abuse in Australia be significantly advanced.

It should be the responsibility of each State Drug Information Centre, under the supervision of its Policy Committee, to collect, collate and disseminate regularly on a State basis the widest possible range of non-criminal drug intelligence to the government, the media and the public. A detailed quarterly report should be thought of as the minimum acceptable level of output. As a starting point the following

information the listing is by no means exhaustive should be

incorporated in the data base:

* All forms of treatment statistics to be collected from hospitals, both public and private, drug counselling services, crisis centres etc. It has already been recommended that 1 Drugs of Dependence Acts' include provisions requiring the licensing of all treatment

and counselling services. The uniform reporting of certain basic data to the State Drug Information Centres can be assured by those Acts .

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* Full details of drug-related crime, i.e. offences, offenders, seizures etc. detected by the State police forces in the enforcement of State legislation. The State police should also be responsible for providing regular estimates of street prices for illegal drugs.

* Similar details of drug-related crime detected within the State by

the local office of the Bureau of Customs in its enforcement of the provisions of the Customs Act. The other Federal law enforcement agency-- the Australian Federal Police---may also be able to make an input to State information.

* Details of the exercise of special powers by the State Criminal Drug

Intelligence Centre under the Uniform Trafficking Act.

* Information (incidence of detected forgeries etc.) relating to the monitoring of medical prescriptions by the Commonwealth Departments of Health and Veterans' Affairs.

* Information from the pharmaceutical inspectors of the State health authorities relating to their policing of the activities of medical practitioners and pharmacists.

* Statistical data on the results of chemical analyses of drug

seizures conducted by forensic laboratories.

* Reports of coronial enquiries into drug-related deaths.

* Records of drug education programs conducted by various bodies within the State with particular emphasis on the results of evaluation programs.

The resulting State information should be regularly forwarded to the National Drug Information Centre which should be responsible for:

* Collecting, collating and disseminating local drug information from the A.C.T. similar to that being collected in respect of the various States. An additional source of a limited amount of statistical data may be the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre which is the subject of another of this Commission's recommendations;

* Collating the State and A.C.T. data into national aggregates for

dissemination to all interested parties-- government, the media and the public;

* Issuing-- subject to National Policy Committee approval---

operational guidelines to be followed by the State Drug Information Centres in data collection and information dissemination. The State Centres, subject to their Policy Committee's approval, should retain the right to make limited adjustment to these guidelines in order to meet peculiar local circumstances;

* Developing-- in consultation with State Drug Information Centres and with National Policy Committee approval-- methodological guidelines to be followed by researchers in receipt of government funding. This role might well be developed to the extent of the methodology for a particular survey being specified precisely and agreed upon

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prior to approval being granted for its commencement by a university or other research body;

* Undertaking Australia's international and reporting obligations on drug-related matters to United Nations and other agencies; and

* Monitoring overseas trends in drug use for comparison with the Australian experience and assessing the relevance of reported overseas advances in data collection and information dissemination techniques to the Australian situation.

The administrative machinery required to set up this network of Drug Information Centres obviously will need to be the subject of detailed discussion between the State and Commonwealth Governments, as will the question of funding. The Commission recommends, however, that the

following matters should form the initial basis for this consultative process.

Because of the obvious overlap in State/Federal responsibilities for drug-related matters reflected in the Drug Information Centres' proposed information sources and in the Commission's recommendation as to the composition of the Policy Committees, it would seem appropriate that the network be set up under joint Commonwealth/State legislation guaranteeing its independence from any form of direct Departmental

control. There is no reason why this could not be done in parts of the Drugs of Dependence legislation already recommended. Having established this principle of independence, however, the network may be assisted in its formative stages if the responsibility for

administrative 'housekeeping' functions such as the provision of accommodation and basic office equipment was allotted to the

Commonwealth Department of Health in respect of the Canberra-based National Drug Information Centre and to the State health authorities in respect of the various State Centres. Likewise, although serious consideration should be given to incorporating in the legislation a provision whereby the network may act as an employer of its own right,

staffing in the initial stages could be provided in the form of multi­ disciplinary teams-- possibly with the predominance of health authority officials-- drawn from within interested Departments of the Australian and State Public Services.

Charts showing how the proposed network initially might function in terms of administration/co-ordination and information flows respectively are shown in Figure XIV.2 on the following page.

The total cost of this proposal and its implications for long-term funding arrangements are most difficult to assess. It is impossible even to arrive at any reliable estimate of staffing requirements, but in the initial stages at least these are likely to be relatively

insignificant. During this time the Commission foresees a period of general investigatory work aimed at a thorough-going assessment of the relevance of available data and the precise identification of serious deficiencies which must be met. This assessment accords with the view expressed by a number of well-informed witnesses who indicated that the

first step in any rational program to improve statistical information on

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Figure XIV.2

PROPOSED DRUG INFORMATION CENTRES

(i) NATIONAL CENTRE (if) STATE OR TERRITORY CENTRE

Head of relevant State Health body. State & Commonwealth Representatives.

Centre Policy Committee

Commonwealth Director-General of Health (Chair). State & Commonwealth Representatives.

Centre Policy Committee

Secretariat

Staffed by officials of State Health bodies & other interested agencies. Secondments from Commonwealth Departments.

Staffed by officials of Commonwealth Department of Health <& other interested Departments. Secondments from State Departments.

Secretariat

Note: To promote the co-ordination of activities at National and State level the National Policy Committee’s membership would interlock with the membership of each of the State and Territory Committees.

INFORMATION FLOWS

Parliaments

Private Organisations,State Bodies and Regional (State) arms of Commonwealth bodies with responsibilities in

Media

P u b lic

Note: It is envisaged that information would also flow directly between State and Territory Centres.

Other

Education

Treatment

Other Overseas National and International Bodies

Supervising Licit Trade

International Narcotics Control Board

Law Enforcement (State Police etc.)

Commonwealth Departments & agencies with National responsibilities

National Drug Information Centre

State or Territory Drug Information Centre

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drug matters in general should be a 'stock-take' of the current position rather than a headlong rush into new initiatives. It may well be that, following these initial investigations, staff levels will need to be increased significantly for a period while new collections of information are initiated and processing systems developed. Looking even further into the future, the maintenance of the system, once developed, should be feasible with a reduced manpower commitment.

Whatever the exact staffing, equipment and administrative support requirements of the proposed system, it must be acknowledged that quite significant expenditures of public funds will be incurred. However, against this expense must be balanced a number of cost savings. Again this is a difficult task because, while certain of these savings will be obvious and fairly easily quantified, e.g. the savings which will accrue through the removal of the Australia Crime Intelligence Centre's statistical workload in respect of the compilation of national drug law enforcement data, many will relate to hidden costs now being borne by the community. Included in this category is, firstly, the highly probable misdirection of funds in the implementation of governmental policy decisions of various kinds made on the basis of unsound

statistical data or without the benefit of any quantitative data at all. Secondly, and somewhat less obscure, is the waste which the Commission has observed in the government funding of drug research and survey work. It has already been noted that in many cases the results of these undertakings are of little value because of failings in methodology

and/or presentation, and that even the more efficiently conducted surveys lose much of their usefulness because they produce 'one-off', unique outcomes which are not comparable with the results of surveys conducted elsewhere by other researchers.

The Commission is of the opinion that it is essential to the

implementation of its proposed national strategy on drug abuse that the network of Drug Information Centres be set up. They will be able to monitor the cost of drug abuse, the cost of law enforcement, the cost of treatment and so on. The result of their work will be to demonstrate whether drug abuse is a victimless crime, whether the prevailing

crime/medical approach to drug abuse is too expensive, whether money spent in education appears to be achieving results, and so on. They should provide reliable information on the comparative benefits of different treatment programs and permit a review of the effectiveness of law enforcement performance in terms of the powers it has been given. Their work will be of inestimable value in a review, after a decade, of a number of social and legal problems connected with drugs. For example,

should cannabis use be permitted? A strategy whose worth is not being constantly measured cannot, after a lapse of some years, be accurately evaluated.

In summary, the Commission believes that the operation of the proposed network of Drug Information Centres is essential to overcoming the difficulties caused to policy makers by deficiencies in the quantity and quality of statistical material available on drug-related matters.

The Centres will for the first time bring to the problem a concentrated expertise and a power to encourage uniformity which has been lacking until now. The advantages of the network in disseminating reliable and

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credible information to the public, both directly and through the media, are obvious. In no way does the Commission suggest that the realisation of the full potential of such an undertaking will be an easy task. The co-operation and goodwill of many organisations and individuals will be required, but, given the widespread concern expressed on this topic by many witnesses, the Commission is confident that success will be achieved.

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ANNEX XIV.2

EXAMPLES OF STATISTICAL SHORTCOMINGS

A Departmental officer who elaborated on statistical shortcomings when he appeared as a witness before the Commission was Dr L. R. H. Drew, the Senior Medical Advisor on Alcohol and Drug Dependence, Commonwealth Department of Health. In discussion with counsel, Dr Drew made the following comments in relation to recent Australian population

studies.

(Question) One of the great problems, and I think you make the point, is that everybody has done his survey in his own way?--(Answer) That's right.

(Question) It is impossible to meld together the results of these surveys to get a composite Australian picture?-- (Answer) Yes .

(Question) Some of these are publicly funded, these surveys, and it would seem to the uninitiated to be an excellent idea that if public funds are to be used for a survey the

methodology of the survey should be standardised and fixed. Would you agree with that?-- (Answer) Yes. But, of course, when you say it is publicly funded, it is often funded by the States, and even within the State there is no uniformity, and

it would be much more difficult to get uniformity between the States, so that although I thoroughly agree that uniformity and standardisation would be highly desirable it would be hard to attain, but we ought to strive towards it.

(Question) And of course some of them are privately funded, in the sense that it comes from university money or grant money or private foundations?-- (Answer) Yes.

(Question) Even with those types of projects there should be some effort to look at or to achieve uniform methodology; would you not agree?-- (Answer) True.

(Question) We would not have the situation-- and I have just gone through the studies that deal with narcotics-- where you have got different years, and you have generally got no follow­ up of the study?-- (Answer) Yes.

(Question) It is not continued, so you do not know what the situation was with those users who were looked at in 1972-- how they are in 1974, and the questions that have been asked and things of that kind are just so disparate and dissimilar that you just cannot combine the results on any sensible basis at all?-- (Answer) No. It is terribly difficult to convince

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research authorities who are not familiar with this area of the importance of longitudinal studies. They are not used in many other areas of medicine or science, and the particular needs of this area just are not known to funding people, so that it is very difficult to maintain funding interest over a period of

time to get this longitudinal survey that you are looking for. (OT 20233--34)

On the question of statistics on drug-related deaths Dr Drew informed the Commission that Departmental attempts to encourage some co­ ordination in this field had been hampered by negative responses from some States. He compared the Australian experience with the success of the DAWN system in this field (OT 20237--38).

The witness then moved on to discuss the lack of progress to date in implementing a Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare

recommendation to the effect that the Commonwealth Department of Health should develop a standard protocol for the collection of comparable data and that researchers investigating drug abuse problems should be encouraged to use this protocol. Again he referred to problems in Federal/State co-operation.

...I think we still have to appreciate that there are some Federal/State kind of difficulties. Now, that is not a political matter; it is not party politics. It is simply a matter of rivalry between States and the Commonwealth in any Federation. It is just difficult to come up with it the

protocol from an acceptable source. (OT 20242)

In view of the time lapse since 1971 it is worth repeating a

recommendation then made by the Senate Select Committee on Drug Trafficking and Drug Abuse:

Statistics. Urgent action should be taken by the Commonwealth Department of Health with the co-operation of State Departments of Health, to organise, survey and assemble statistics on all forms of drug abuse on a uniform basis throughout Australia and that such information be made available freely to research and other interested organisations.

(Open Exhibit 19 page 4)

In response to an invitation by the Commission Dr Drew tendered some personal observations on how the current statistical deficiencies might be overcome. He submitted that:

In Australia, at present, there is a large range of information being collected about drug use and drug problems. Most collections are unsystematic. There is little attempt to process individual collections adequately or to co-relate one

collection with another. At relatively little cost action could be taken to make far better use of available collections to monitor changes in drug use and drug problems.

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This action could be taken directly by the Commonwealth

Department of Health, or possibly indirectly through the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, University of Sydney. In the former case additional staff and an annual budgetary allocation of about $100 000 per annum would be required. In the latter case special funding could be requested from the Research and Development Grants Program for an initial three year period.

I would advocate that the Commission recommend that either additional resources are provided within the Commonwealth Department of Health or that a special unit be established at

the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, University of Sydney, to investigate and develop a system of collecting, collating and publishing statistical data concerning drug use and drug problems in Australia. Such a unit should put effort

into the utilisation of existing collections in preference to the development of new, special purpose, collections.

The first aim of such an initiative should be to, as soon as possible, begin the regular publication of up to date

information which is reliable, although perhaps not

representative of all possible available information. The next aim should be to improve the quality of that information and to extend the scope of the sources from which the information is derived to improve representativeness. This approach would meet many needs.

(OT 22844--4S)

The sort of information which Dr Drew suggested should be considered for early inclusion in the proposed unit's data base comprised the following:

(i) Persons presenting to treatment agencies

(a) general hospital casualty departments

(b) general hospital wards

(c) special alcohol and drug services

(d) general community health services

(e) private practitioners

(f) other health agencies

(ii) Drug related deaths

(iii) Persons in contact with the law because of drug use/misuse

(iv) Confiscation of illegal drugs

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(v) Sales of legal drugs

(vi) Community surveys (OT 22846)

A similar critical assessment of statistics relating to the health aspects of drug abuse was included in evidence tendered on behalf of the National Committee on Health and Vital Statistics (NCHVS). A covering letter from the Committee's chairman, Dr J. W. Donovan, indicated that

its submission had been forwarded with the approval of the Executive Committee of the Hospital and Allied Services Advisory Council (HASAC). The NCHVS suggested that in order to overcome the present obvious inadequacies, the collection, collation, and dissemination of statistics on the health aspects of drug abuse should be founded on three defined aims:

* to determine who is abusing drugs

* to determine which drugs are being abused

* to determine the efficacy of treatment programs

(OT 22867)

With these aims in mind, the Committee concluded as follows:

Knowledge about drug abuse is so limited that the Committee believes it would be counterproductive to list particular statistical collections that might be introduced or ways in which existing collections might be examined. The best way to progress would be through examination by Commonwealth, State and Territory Health authorities of material already available in relation to achievement of stated aims of drug abuse programs. After this has been done, it would be appropriate to review progress with a view to recommending particular statistical collections or analyses as of national importance.

There should also be a sample survey to identify groups whose illegal drug use is a particular problem, to identify illegal drugs the abuse of which is a particular problem, to establish

knowledge, attitudes and practice in relation to drug abuse, and to serve as a baseline against which later surveys to

demonstrate the achievements of programs could be compared. An examination component should be considered. Clearly the survey should be nationwide. Its organisation will also be a major task, the co-ordination of which will require additional resources for the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The development and adoption of guidelines on privacy in relation to the health aspects of drug abuse, and the

assessment of the total cost of drug abuse, both have a high priority.

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Assessment of effectiveness of treatment programs is seen as a responsibility of treatment centres and of those who fund them, rather than of statisticians.

The Committee therefore recommends:

- that Commonwealth, State and Territory health authorities examine statistical material already available to assess achievement of stated aims of drug programs;

- that only after this has been done should it be attempted to define the national need for statistics relating to drug abuse;

- that there be a sample survey to identify groups whose

illegal drug use is a particular problem, to identify illegal drugs the use of which is a particular problem, to establish knowledge, attitudes, and practice in relation to drug abuse, and to serve as a baseline against which later surveys to evaluate programs could be compared;

- that the development and adoption of guidelines on privacy in relation to health aspects of drug abuse, and the assessment of the total cost of drug abuse, be given a high priority;

- that treatment centres assess the efficacy of their own treatments, and maintain records in ways that will facilitate this. (OT 22871--72)

Mr B. D. Stewart, the Secretary of the New South Wales Drug and Alcohol Authority, in agreeing that efforts to understand the dimensions of the drug problem were fragmented because of lack of uniformity in the collection of information, referred particularly to the problems caused

in New South Wales in relation to public understanding.

...within New South Wales, with which I am principally

concerned, you have got 14 regions within the Health Commission to which we work. Within those 14 regions you have got

something like six different methods of statistical gathering and when the authority was set up, I was concerned and the authority was concerned that a greater uniformity was necessary because on occasion we hear various reports, and I think I alluded to that last time I appeared, that we have 70 000

regular users or narcotic abusers, for example, whereas the New South Wales Parliamentary Committee on Drugs and the authority is of the opinion, and it is a rational guess-timate really

that we have got something in the order of 7000. Now,

immediately you state that you have got something in the order of 70.000 for example, you create great waves of hysteria in the community and unless we can determine as far as is

possible, given the very real limitations in this scene, the

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real nature and extent of the problem, we are not going to come to grips with it. (OT 23405--06)

In discussion with counsel Mr Stewart also agreed that it would be desirable to set up in New South Wales some central agency where all drug-related information including the number of drug offences and offenders, the type and purity of seizures and the number of drug dependent persons presenting to treatment facilities obtained from Federal, State and private agencies and institutions could be collected,

collated and disseminated (OT 23406--09). The witness saw great value in each State being similarly served with the formation of a national cell to collate the data on an Australia-wide basis and to facilitate information flows among the States.

...I see (this) as being very valuable. I think it is long

overdue. It is something that I personally wanted for quite some time because the picture is very fragmented. For example, we hear a lot, and indeed, we know quite a few people go from States like South Australia, for example, where the addict population is nowhere near as large as it is in Sydney, for example. But we would like to know how many people there are

who are South Australian based, for example, or how many people who have received treatment there are presenting for treatment in New South Wales because of the offer of a particular sort of programme and the whole question of assessment, the whole question of the movement of addict populations and so forth I think could be better determined and then the question of resource allocation could be more rationally arrived at because the situation at present is that he who shouts the loudest has the greatest degree of personal resource, or other community resources, on his board will probably get the lion's share of the funds and that is not necessarily the most efficacious way of handing out grants and if we could get a better assessment and determine more clearly the locale of people and the needs and so forth, the whole question of allocation of resources and so forth could be arrived at more accurately.

(OT 23409--10)

He did remark, however, that if such a proposal was to be fully effective, a greater degree of Federal/State co-operation than had been evident in the past would be required:

...what we need in the area is a much greater co-operation of the people on the treatment side, on the side of apprehension and so forth and less competitiveness because historically there has been too great a degree of competition in the area and not sufficient in the way of co-operation and that sort of input from the federal sphere is absolutely essential.

(OT 23409)

Dr G. Milner, Inspector and Director, Alcoholics and Drug Dependent Persons's Branch, Victorian Health Department, indicated to the Commission that he believed that Australian failures in national drug problem solving were due in part to:

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An inadequate appreciation of their extent and of the

importance of drug use problems. Drug use statistics are of three types, 'actual', 'known' and 'declared'; discrepancies between these three may stem from research deficiencies, bureaucratic negativism or public mistatement.

(OT 2577)

Dr Milner defined 'actual' as 'accurate' and 'known' as 'doing the best we can'. By 'declared' he meant statistics published by agencies with a particular interest so what they publish may or may not be the same as 'known', depending on the extent to which that interest

operates.

From the findings of a pilot survey of Victorian drug users he had supervised during 1976, Dr Milner concluded that:

The need for good Australian statistics is apparent if we are to have:

(a) proper recognition of our drug use problems.

(b) appropriate funding,

and

(c) adequate implementation of efficient responses, which themselves should have inbuilt evaluation measures.

The fact that this mere pilot study counted 286 narcotic users, mainly in Melbourne, in only 8 months (with only 57 being known users already on methadone involving programs) may indicate the

possibly large size of Australia's narcotic problem; the fact that there was a congruence between Police and specialist treatment agency entries is surely encouraging-- a simple on­ going survey can provide valuable indices of the nature and extent of our problem. On this data the NSCC (National

Standing Control Committee on Drugs of Dependence), Federal and State Health, Police and Social Welfare personnel could plan securely; politicians would know what funds were needed and

how these should be deployed. (Open Exhibit 170, p. 55)

On Dr Milner's calculations the suggested on-going survey of Australian drug users would require a total staff of approximately 20 Research Officers and assistants located in each State capital city and Canberra. He formulated a total running cost estimate of about $200 000 per annum with an initial outlay of some $300 000 required for equipment

to make his proposal a viable proposition. In summing up he stated:

The research teams would serve as professional personnel educators in the general and psychiatric hospitals, forensic laboratories, Coroners' offices and so on; co-operation with a National Survey of Drug Use Indicators (heroin and methadone

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deaths, emergency room contacts, hepatitis, admissions, drug arrests, etc.) would soon develop. treatment

The Art is not difficult, but the Opportunity is fleeting. (Open Exhibit 170, p. 57)

The evidence referred to above has dealt with the health and treatment aspects of drug information. The importance of law enforcement data to a balanced understanding of the problem has been mentioned and it is appropriate to devote some attention to this topic also. In other sections of this Report it has been noted that the only uniform national drug crime statistics produced in Australia are those compiled by ACIC, the Australia Crime Intelligence Centre of the Commonwealth Police (now subsumed into the Australian Federal Police). Criticisms of these data in terms of inaccuracies involving omissions, duplications and errors of presentation have also been recorded in Part IV of this Report when the Commission was trying to rely upon them in reporting on the factual Terms of Reference.

When he gave evidence before the Commission in November 1977, Mr B. C. Maclachlan, Statistical Officer, Department of Administrative Services (who was later seconded to this Commission as its Statistical Officer) was highly critical of the then latest edition (1975) of ACIC's annual publication 'Drug Abuse in Australia' on two counts, viz. accuracy and/or incompleteness of data and presentation (OT 308). Although some of the more simply rectified errors were overcome in later editions many of the basic problems still remained. Certain of the

reasons for the difficulties were explained by senior officers of COMPOL administering ACIC.

For example, confidential evidence received from one officer indicated that the persons engaged in the processing of the data lacked qualifications appropriate to the task and did not have access to any specialised forms of training. Another, in the course of discussing with the Commissioner and counsel the Drug Intelligence Report (DIR)

system whereby ACIC is supposed to be informed of all drug-related crime by the various State and Federal law enforcement agencies responded as follows:

(Question) Is that all reported by you to the Commonwealth Police under this drug intelligence report system?-- (Answer)In every instance where the drug squad acts, yes, but there is a problem with police and I do not think we would be any

different from any other police force where the system does break down and where police have to complete and forward documents. We have problems in getting people to do that.

(Question) And to do it properly?-- (Answer)And to do it properly. Consequently there would be some that are not reported at all to the Commonwealth Police. The majority of them would be.

(CT)

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Further details of the problems faced by ACIC in compiling the tatistics were provided by yet another senior officer, again in confidential session. This officer explained that:

...as recipients of this type of information, (DIRs) we have no control over the quality or quantity of that information. And although we have the only uniform crime statistics-- truly uniform crime statistics data base in the country, there are

significant omissions from that data because we have not been advised by say the arresting authority of the full details involved.

...on many occasions, the absolute minimum of information will be put on that form; that is the offender's name, date of

birth, perhaps an address, perhaps the drug type, frequently the quantity of drug involved is omitted... and the place and date of laying of charge and possibly, the result of

proceedings. As it stands at the moment... some two-thirds of charges laid have not had results of proceedings relayed to us.

... I should qualify that by saying if we did receive all the operational information that would be of value, we would not have the staff to handle it. It is a two edged sword. It is all very well to say we are not getting information but on the other hand, if we were getting the information which I believe was envisaged under that state/federal agreement, we would not

at the present time have the staff capable of handling that information. (CT)

As an example of the defects in information recorded on the DIRs the witness instanced the fact that of almost 9000 seizures reported in 1976, quantities were not specified on 3993 occasions. On the question of the coverage of ACIC data simply in terms of the number of seizures

recorded the witness further stated:

There is one state which I am not prepared to name in which the former head of the drug squad told me if he knew of 60% of the charges laid in his particular state, he thought he was doing well, because they were being dealt with on a regional basis

and not all offences and offenders were being reported to the drug squad in that state. But it is only from the drug squad that we get our information relayed, from that state, so we are losing quite a bit of it.

(CT)

Clearly, on the basis of this sort of evidence the current national drug law enforcement statistics, which appear on the surface to offer a reasonable decision making tool, must be judged to be totally

inadequate.

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There were many other witnesses prepared to state that one of the major problems which needed to be eliminated before an effective, co­ ordinated national anti-drug program could be instituted was the lack of reliable quantitative information. Included among them was a number who actually prefaced testimony by a comment to this effect. For example, Dr C. H. Gurd, Director of Health, Northern Territory Department of Health stated:

Firm and analysed data are scarce so that most of the evidence must, of necessity, be based on personal impressions and the extrapolation of isolated facts such as hospital outpatients attendances and admission statistics, court attendances,

customs seizures, and such incidents as the recent interception near Darwin of a plane running marihuana in the form of 'Bhudda sticks' from the north. (OT 5875)

An anonymous rehabilitation worker said:

Because of the lack of hard statistical data this report is really based on impressions, and experiences through working with youthful drug abusers. (CT)

Other witnesses offering criticisms of various aspects of the present information base included:

* Senator P. E. Baume, the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare, who remarked particularly on the effects of poor information on the policy making process (OT 12369A);

* Mr D. Letcher, Secretary of the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties, who forwarded a Council submission which emphasised 'an obvious need for widespread dissemination of objective and accurate information in relation to drug use' (OT 21331);

* Mr J. B. Donovan, Chief Economist of the Management Consultants W. D. Scott & Co. Pty. Ltd., who pointed out that statistical information on the drug 1 industry' was so sparse that the accuracy of the country's National Accounts and Balance of Payments Statements were being affected as a result (OT 10259--59A);

* Mr J. L. Davis, Senior Pharmacist, South Australian Department of Public Health who, when giving evidence to that State’s Royal Commission into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs, admitted that his estimate of one thousand as the number of South Australian heroin addicts was nothing more than 'sheer guess work'. He further remarked that he was unable to give even a reliable estimate of the number of alcoholics in South Australia (OT 8143);

* Mr J. D. Maclaine, Psychologist, Langton Clinic, Sydney, who presented a submission on behalf of the clinic drawing attention to an 'almost complete lack of evaluation of efficacy of treatment methods’ (OT 12389);

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Dr J . Hendtlass, Biochemist, Moreland Hall Private Hospital, Coburg, Victoria, who was critical of the lack of information on the outcome of methadone programs (OT 3171);

Representatives of member companies of the Proprietary Association of Australia who noted in their Association's submission that definitive, detailed, industry-wide data on overall consumption of proprietary medicines were unavailable either to the industry or

government (OT 10935); and

Mr I. Viner, the then Federal Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, who explained in a covering letter to a submission made by his

Department that no specific statistics on aboriginal involvement with illegal or inappropriate drug use were available (OT 12842B).

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Chapter 7 Local Community Drug Liaison C om m ittees

It has been mentioned in Part I Chapter 1 that the Commissioner wrote to the presiding officer of every local government body in Australia at the commencement of the Commission. His letter enclosed a copy of the Terms of Reference of the Commission and sought the support of the local

government authority, of its members and of the citizens living within its area. The response was gratifying. Most local government

authorities publicised in their municipalities, shires, towns and cities the existence and the work of the Commission and sought community assistance in providing information to it.

Some local authorities expressed the view that there was no problem of illegal drug abuse in their areas. Others indicated there was a problem but they were unsure how they might contribute to its reduction. One local authority in New South Wales wrote suggesting that 'street' or

detached youth workers should be deployed in its area and that training for drug counsellors should be readily available to all interested persons, especially parents, youth workers and young people themselves. However it thought that this was outside the function of local

government.

Other local government authorities showed by their responses to the Commission that they were already contributing to work being done in their areas through committees which had an interest in social welfare and community matters. So far as the Commission is aware, none of these

committees has express reference to drugs of dependence in its constitution.

The Commission detected a desire on the part of some local

government authorities to be involved in the reduction of the use of drugs of dependence. For example, Mr J. L. Chenoweth, Town Clerk of the City of Brighton, South Australia, wrote to the Commission regretting that City's inability to prepare a comprehensive submission to the

Commission because it was felt that one based on supposition was pointless. He went on to say:

I commend to your Commission the suggestion that steps be taken to involve Local Government more in the problem. It is the area of Government closest to the people and this, in my

Council's opinion, would enable it to play a very important role. (OT 14262)

The following is quoted from a letter sent to the Commission by Mr W. J. Marshall, Town Clerk, Orange City Council, New South Wales:

Some twelve months ago a group was established in Orange by community leaders which consists of the Mayor and Town Clerk, Doctors, Clergymen, Pharmacists, Police, and other citizens,

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and this group has come to be known as the 'Substance Addiction Group'.

The Group was and is concerned at the levels of substance addiction in Orange and has set out to train itself to assist in public education of the dangers of substance addiction.

The leaders of the Group are Dr Hugh Jolly who is the Senior Medical Officer at the Bloomfield Psychiatric Hospital, Dr Howard Bowen, a General Practitioner, and Father David Wilkins,

a Priest of one of the Catholic Parishes here.

When your letter was received by the Mayor he issued a copy of it to those three gentlemen and sought their concerted advice to the Council as to any action which the Council might take in response to your letter.

I enclose for your information a copy of their advice to the Council, which has been endorsed by the Council and is now submitted to you for consideration. (OT 9887)

The enclosed advice from the three gentlemen mentioned, and signed by Dr Η. M. Jolly, concluded as follows:

We wish to state our belief on behalf of the interested and concerned citizens of Orange that a wholehearted comm'.Lment from the Council to the cause of removing all dangerous

substances from the Community is imperative.

Such a commitment may well need to be in various forms

including financial and the expression of a balanced and understanding view of the whole range of drug problems including alcohol. The work already done by a whole range of voluntary agencies has reached a pitch where the Council

through its advocacy can be in a position to catalyse all the present efforts and take a significant step in a direction which many other similar Councils in the State have been unable to take. It is the sincere wish of Dr Bowen, Father Wilkins and myself that the Council will give a lead to the Community and assist in making this city one in which every citizen can feel that the risk to any person becoming involved in drugs is at the minimal possible level.

(OT 9890)

There are a number of places in this Report where a community role in reducing drug abuse is mentioned. Part XI, Drug Education, contains a number of references in the summary of evidence and in the

Commission's conclusions.

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At page Cl45 the Commission cited evidence from Mrs P. L. Searles of the Drug Users Parents Aid Foundation (DUPA), as follows:

The conclusion put forward by the DUPA Foundation is that the problem of drug misuse stems from home environment pressures; this in turn is brought about by social pressures on the

parents.

The Commission went on to express its conclusion based on much evidence received that many of the problems of drug abuse do emanate from home environment pressures. The Commission continued:

To say that the parent is in need of education concerning drugs is to indicate again the necessity for community involvement. The school system cannot be expected to accept the

responsibility for the parental role. If either or both parents are unable or unwilling to provide the time to prevent the child seeking the company of drug abusers and the support of drugs, the community, for its own protection and benefit, must do so. This may involve a system of neighbour co­

operation and support.

Another example of a role for local community involvement occurs in Part X, Treatment, at page C57 and C58 where the Commission concludes that it is important for the community to adopt a rational attitude towards illegal drug users and what treatment can do for them. To develop such an attitude at the local community level and to provide apropriate support for illegal drug users would appear ideal objectives

for a local community committee. There should be no need to stress that local community committees should encompass all drugs of dependence which are abused, not just illegal drugs.

The Commission believes that reduction of drug abuse in general and of illegal drug abuse in particular will follow greater awareness and understanding of the problems of such abuse in the community. There is probably no better way to develop this awareness than by providing at

the local level in the community an agency which can receive, collate, assess and disseminate relevant material on drug abuse. Any local government authority could sponsor an agency of this kind. This agency could be called the Community Drug Liaison Committee.

There is a need for a local level of community activity to:

* monitor the local situation;

* disseminate, locally, information from State and National Drug Information Centres;

* publicise the local facilities for treatment and counselling;

* develop community support for youth 'at risk';

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* assist in co-ordinating at a local level the different activities of enforcement, treatment and education,

* reply constructively to questions from members of the community, and

* provide a forum for visiting speakers or for discussions among local community members.

It would be essential that a community drug liaison committee of this kind be composed of concerned persons but that it should not be dominated by persons who have an extreme view on drugs. More harm than good would come by having representatives favouring the legalisation of all drugs of dependence confronting representatives favouring an

increase in penalties for the users of drugs of dependence. Providing that this source of discord is avoided, the local community should select its own representatives. The representatives appropriate to one area might not be appropriate to another. Generally speaking, however, it would be desirable to have the local government authority represented as well as the local police, and the local government medical officer or local hospital superintendent. Health is a function of local

government, and ideally the local government authority in the area should sponsor the committee, assisting it by the provision of accommodation and, as appropriate, secretarial assistance.

The Commission has seen among many local government authorities a keen interest in reducing drug abuse, and feels that many local government authorities would be glad to sponsor a community drug liaison committee. The Commission was also impressed by the charitable community work done by different service organisations in Australia and has little doubt that their support of a community drug liaison committee would ensure that it succeeded. In some cases, geographical and population considerations might make it advisable that two or more local government authorities combine to sponsor a community drug liaison committee jointly.

The Commission believes that in the performance of the functions mentioned above, a community drug liaison committee could play a role of considerable value in the community. It should be able to modify a tendency in the community and in the media to report sensationally on matters involving drug abuse, particularly illegal drug abuse. Its activities should keep the abuse problem in proportion so that the

opportunity for biased, divisive and unproductive debate is reduced. In addition, concerned citizens will have a convenient avenue through which to direct enquiries, in the expectation of obtaining authoritative

and personalised service.

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Chapter 8 T he Future

Although attempts at predicting the future are more often than not fraught with peril, it seems necessary for the Commission to attempt to do this in relation to the national strategy it has recommended, assuming of course that the strategy is put into operation. Accordingly the Commission here considers briefly the future of the national strategy.

The most significant impact of the national strategy will not emerge until Drug Information Centres have been operating for two or three years. By that time it will be possible to establish certain important facts with some confidence. For example, it should be possible to say with some precision whether illegal drug abuse is increasing or

decreasing, how many people are dependent on drugs, whether education programs are succeeding, which treatment programs are achieving the best results, the extent to which drug diversionary programs are proving beneficial, and so on. The Australian public will be accustomed to

receiving regular reports from State or National Drug Information Centres from which the present situation on a large number of topics will be able to be compared with the past situation. The media will not have to rely on second-rate sources for information, and thoughtful

journalists will be able to comment helpfully on the drug scene as it really is. It is to be hoped that each Drug Information Centre will have established a high reputation for accuracy and independence. Hopefully each will have at least one articulate spokesman able clearly to interpret the reports of the Centre to the mass media and through it

to the public.

The work of the Drug Information Centres, a few years after the commencement of their operations, should lift the whole standard of debate on all drug-related issues and permit the Australian people to discuss drugs without the prejudice, ignorance and exaggeration clouding

so much of today's debate. It will then be more difficult for

irresponsible persons to promote unsound policies and to take advantage of general ignorance to advance their personal causes. The majority of the community, who are people of goodwill, will be co-operating in a national strategy which they can understand and support; they will not be confused and perplexed as at present.

The Drug Information Centres will also profoundly affect the quality and relevance of research into drug related questions. Their monitoring of treatment and education programs should allow a continuing appraisal of treatment and education to be undertaken. The regular publication of material assembled by the Centres will keep enforcement agencies

accountable to the community at large for the effectiveness of their performance and of how they use their powers.

In short, the Drug Information Centres should contribute to the improvement of Australia's efforts to reduce the abuse of all drugs by increasing national understanding of all the issues. The continuation of the strategy for ten years, with an interim review after five years,

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should allow Australia an adequate period after the Drug Information Centres commence operations to assess the soundness of its policies on drug abuse. At that point of time, for example, it might be decided to change the law on the use of cannabis or to reintroduce heroin as a therapeutic drug. Whatever decision might then be taken will be able to be taken deliberately and calmly in the light of ten years' well documented experience of drug abuse in Australia.

Even before the Drug Information Centres have been operating for a sufficient period to produce useful results, the national strategy should be producing results in other areas. One should be that the proposed increase in law enforcement powers, the operation of Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres and better co-operation between agencies will be successfully harassing the trafficker and illegal drugs should be

less freely available. State Drugs of Dependence Units should be doing effective work among the users of illegal drugs as well as keeping tight controls on the diversion of drugs to illegal use. The statutory drug diversionary program should be achieving success in directing drug users towards treatment.

As the community understanding of drug abuse increases it is to be hoped that abuse of legal drugs will be reduced. In the Commission's view a decrease in the abuse of legal drugs will contribute to a

decrease in the abuse of illegal drugs.

The strategy will not work without the goodwill of the whole Australian community. Police and Customs must co-operate and past possessiveness in relation to intelligence and operational targets must be set aside. Agencies which are capable of fulfilling a direct or

indirect enforcement role must be encouraged to fulfil it. Just as illegal drugs know no borders, so Australian efforts to reduce their availability must not be constricted by insistence on artificial demarcations and borders. In the area of treatment and education, the co-operation and involvement of the whole community must be sought. Industrial and community programs to reduce drug abuse generally will need to be encouraged.

What is urgently needed is total national involvement. Such involvement means not only active participation by all governments, Commonwealth, State and local, but includes the positive support of the community as a whole.

The Commission would be foolish indeed to expect complete unanimity of support for every one of its many recommendations. It is fully aware of divergences of views that exist among persons and organisations in the community. However, it is also aware of the vital need for broad consensus within the community if the vexed drug abuse problem is to be tackled effectively. After considering a vast amount of evidence, the Commission has put forward a strategy which it believes to be sensible and practical, and consistent with the values of the Australian community. The Commission believes it is worthy of the support by

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governments, organisations involved in drug-related activities and concerned citizens alike.

In discussing national goodwill and involvement it is desirable to say a word on the matter of 'cost'. Cost is an argument nearly always appealed to by those who oppose initiatives that are suggested in peace time. It is not advanced so much in war time or in times of national emergency. In the view of the Commission, the problem of drug abuse in Australia contains many elements of a war time situation. Australia is

a country striving to defend its people against an undisputed social evil. It is not being over-dramatic to describe the present position as one of national emergency. The cost of many of the proposals made by this Commission will be substantial. Much of it will fall on the Commonwealth Government, although the States must accept a share. Each will have to contribute substantial resources in material and personnel.

'Penny pinching accounting' should be avoided. The Commission is of the view that the ultimate benefits to be derived, the human and economic savings to be effected, and the spin-off benefits unrelated directly to drug abuse, will far outweigh the 'cost' however sobering at first sight

the estimates of cost may be.

In this Chapter the Commission has sought to show how the strategy will affect drug abuse in the future. It would stress that while the strategy provides a positive and comprehensive plan of attack it must be properly supported if it is to be successful.

In the final result it must be remembered that drug abusers are human beings and there are many diverse influences which shape their attitudes and affect their behaviour. No strategy can be expected to meet every individual situation. No legislation or administrative

action is likely to mend broken marriages, to give a sense of purpose to youth, to discourage anti-social activities or to restrict hedonistic behaviour. Education can help; law enforcement can help by making drugs less readily available. However, one of the best correctives is good

example and a continued awareness of how our actions may detrimentally affect others. Even in the late twentieth century it is still true that no man is an island alone to himself.

The Commission has stressed the necessity for public accountability in relation to law enforcement agencies. It believes that the national strategy it proposes should be accountable in like manner. This can be achieved to a large extent by public dissemination of the regular

reports of the Drug Information Centres. It is thought, however, that a more specific examination of the operation of the national strategy should be undertaken.

The Commission recommends that the general nature of the national strategy on drug abuse should not be the subject of substantial change for a period of at least ten years. During this period the strategy will be constantly under review. The Drug Information Centres will be monitoring the working of the national strategy. The biennial meetings

of Ministers will provide a forum in which discussion of the strategy

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and policy considerations occurs; from this may arise necessary variations and modifications.

The Commission recommends that at the end of five years from the commencement of operation of the Drug Information Centres there should be some more formal body set up to review the events of the previous five years and to examine the Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres and the Drug Information Centres. Its task should be to make an interim review proposing only those modifications to the overall strategy which are seen to be essential.

The Commission recommends that, at the end of ten years, a National Royal Commission of Inquiry be appointed to review the success of the overall national strategy. That Royal Commission of Inquiry should have access to all of the records of this Commission, including confidential transcript and exhibits. That Royal Commission should be asked to propose Australia's national policy for the next decade upon drugs of dependence of all kinds.

At the time of concluding the writing of this Report, the Report of Mr Justice Woodward as Royal Commissioner into Drug Trafficking in New South Wales, had been recently published. As reported in the media, there was some reaction that his Report was expensive in the light of what it stated. The claim was that a lot of people already knew much of what was contained in the Report. Probably there will be a similar

reaction by some to this Report.

The Commission acknowledges that its task was not concluded without the expenditure of money. The task it was asked to undertake was, however, wide-ranging and deep in its implications. No inquiry could have done it justice without costly effort.

It is true that a deal of what the Commission is reporting is not new. Certain conclusions presented here are little different from the conclusions reached in the report from Senator Marriott's Select Committee on Drug Trafficking and Drug Abuse nearly a decade ago. Novelty of content is not a proper basis on which to judge this Report. The Commission has sought to find the truth and to develop a strategy to deal satisfactorily with the situation it found. If this involves

rediscovery of old knowledge and the restating of old wisdom, perhaps this indicates the tasks which most urgently need to be undertaken.

In a very real sense the judgment on whether the Commission has or has not been unduly costly is for the future. The Commission believes that if its recommendations are implemented with goodwill and intelligence, the cost of the Commission will prove to be an investment bearing impressive dividends. If considerations of selfishness and

short-sightedness intervene to inhibit the co-operation which the Commission believes to be essential, the cost of the Commission will prove to have been high, not only in terms of money but in terms of human lives blighted by drugs and the price will continue to be paid until a national strategy is implemented.

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L ist o f R ecom m endations

List of R ecom m endations

Given below is a consolidated list of recommendations found in the preceding pages of this Report.

The Commission has listed the recommendations in order of

publication in the Report, and no order of priority or importance is intended.

Each recommendation is listed under the Part of the Report in which it appears. The number of the page on which the recommendation appears is included in parenthesis. The Commission made no recommendations specifically related to Parts I to V.

In some instances the same recommendation or similar recommendations appear in different Parts of the Report where they have a bearing on different aspects of the drug problem in Australia and national efforts to overcome it. All such recommendations have been repeated here in the

interests of consistency.

The Commission recommends that:

PART VI Organisations with a Direct Enforcement Role

1 The Narcotics Bureau be disbanded (B164).

2_ An option be given to all members of the Narcotics Bureau to remain with the Bureau of Customs or to join the Australian Federal Police on terms at least equal to those presently enjoyed. For this purpose it may be necessary to relax police entrance qualifications, e.g. stature, age (B164).

_3_ The responsibility for enforcing at the Customs barrier Commonwealth law against importing or exporting drugs (viz. Sections 233A and 233B of the Customs Act) should remain vested in the Bureau of Customs (B164).

4_ If the Uniform Drug Trafficking Act is enacted as recommended, its enforcement at the Customs barrier should be vested primarily in the Bureau of Customs (B164).

5 The Narcotics Bureau's drug intelligence holdings and the facilities of CIRB and CASOS should be transferred to the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre as is later recommended in more detail (B164).

6 The Bureau of Customs should co-operate with the National and State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres by ensuring that it is

represented by senior officers on the Committees governing them and that suitable staff is rotated to work at the Centres. These Centres are discussed in detail in Part XIV Chapter 4 (B164).

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Ί_ Pending implementation of the Inspection Concept, the Bureau of

Customs should ensure that staff from Customs seconded to Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres are drawn equally from the 'Preventive Service' and the other areas of Customs. Staff seconded should be

regularly rotated (B164).

JL The Bureau of Customs should organise its resources to create and maintain a barrier against all forms of smuggling. The activities of the Bureau of Customs against drug smuggling should be conducted consistently with the work of the National and State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres (B164--65).

9_ The Bureau of Customs should not try to combat drug smuggling by

forming a separate unit dedicated to this end, particularly by following smuggled drugs beyond the Customs barrier (B165).

10 The Bureau of Customs should maintain an intelligence system on smuggling generally but should rely entirely on the National and State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres for intelligence on drug smuggling and should not deliberately conduct its own drug intelligence gathering (B165).

11 Any intelligence obtained by the Bureau of Customs which may relate to drug trafficking should be passed promptly to the nearest State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre which will, if appropriate, pass it to the National Centre (B165).

12 As stated in Part VIII of this Report, responsibility for the development, co-ordination and direction of all civil coastal surveillance should be vested in the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre and for that purpose that Centre should take over the responsibilities of CASOS for surveillance (B165).

13 The Bureau of Customs should rely on the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre for information on possible breaches of the Customs screen in remote areas and should concentrate upon reacting to such information rather than mounting its own surveillance operations (B165).

14 The Bureau of Customs should ensure that its officers seconded to the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre are drawn initially from senior staff from the different Collectorates so that an

understanding of the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre and its capacity is quickly disseminated among the staff whose task it will be to deal at an operational level with intrusions reported through the Centre. Officers who are seconded should be rotated regularly

(B165).

15 The three Nomad aircraft dedicated to Customs surveillance and any aircraft presently under charter by Customs for surveillance should be directed by the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre for the conduct of civil coastal surveillance generally (B165).

16 The Bureau of Customs in the operation and development of its radio communications network should liaise closely with the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre so that the network makes the maximum contribution to surveillance generally (B165).

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17 The Central Information and Research Bureau (CIRB) and all

intelligence facilities and holdings of the Department of Business and Consumer Affairs which relate to drugs should now be transferred to the Australian Federal Police and then located in the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre as soon as it is created (B165).

18 Any intelligence holdings of CIRB which do not relate to drugs should be retained by the Bureau of Customs to be used in countering other kinds of smuggling (B165).

19 The facilities, functions and holdings of CASOS should be

appropriately divided among the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre, the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre and the Department of Business and Consumer Affairs. Criminal drug intelligence should go to the National Criminal Drug Intelligence

Centre. Static or geographic intelligence related to

surveillance should go to the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre while general anti-smuggling intelligence should remain with the Department (B166).

20 The National Drug Information Centre which the Commission recommends be set up in Part XIV of this Report should be charged, instead of the Department of Business and Consumer Affairs, with performing Australia's international reporting obligations under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, and its amending protocol of

1972, and when it is ratified, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971 (B166).

21 The responsibility for effecting international liaison on drug matters on behalf of all law enforcement agencies throughout Australia with overseas agencies, whether through Interpol, Australian drug liaison officers based overseas or otherwise, should be vested in the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre (B166).

22 Any enforcement assistance required by the Commonwealth Department of Health elsewhere than at the Customs barrier should not be provided by the Department of Business and Consumer Affairs but by the Australian Federal Police with such State police assistance as

the Australian Federal Police may require. Where the Commonwealth Department of Health requires the assistance of the Bureau of Customs, even away from the Customs barrier, in connection with

authorised importation or exportation of drugs, that assistance should, of course, continue to be provided by the Bureau (B166).

23 The roles and objectives of the Bureau of Customs in relation to drug law enforcement should be re-stated simply as intercepting drugs at the Customs barrier (B166).

24 The resources of the Bureau of Customs should be upgraded for the purpose of fulfilling its re-stated role (B166).

25 The Department of Business and Consumer Affairs should act to implement the Inspection Concept as soon as possible. It is noted that the final report of the Steering Committee on the subject is due on 12 December 1979 (B166).

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26 The Commonwealth Government should ensure the speedy implementation of the Inspection Concept. To achieve this it appears to the Commission desirable that:

- a small high level implementation committee to include senior officers from the Department of Business and Consumer Affairs and the office of the Public Service Board be established forthwith;

- whatever resources are necessary should be made available to that committee; and

- regular progress reports by the implementaton committee should be directed to the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Public Service Matters (B166--67).

27 Customs officers at the primary line should receive more training in the examination of documents and in any special equipment available at reasonable cost so that they more readily may detect forgeries, irregularities, and anomalies in passports and other travel documents of passengers arriving in and departing from Australia

(B167).

28 Antonomy should be given to the Customs Collectorates with respect to the conduct of all local operational Customs matters, subject only to the setting of guide lines and performance review by Central Office (B167).

29 There should be increased co-operation by enforcement agencies with the Bureau of Customs and vice versa and to that end there should be:

- ready provision of appropriate State facilities to assist in the implementation of Customs control;

- available to State police the expertise of Customs officers in searching;

- regular meetings at a local level between Customs officers and Federal and State police so that each agency knows the current situation in relation to illegal drug trafficking and misuse of drugs, and appreciates how it might be called upon to act and how it might best co-operate with the others;

- provision without delay by the National Criminal Drug

Intelligence Centre of all relevant national intelligence on drug smuggling to the Bureau of Customs; and

- Provision of intelligence on organised drug smuggling by State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres to the State Collectorates (B167).

30 Immediate steps should be taken to upgrade the Customs launch fleet, with priority given to the NSW and Victorian Collectorates with a view to:

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implementing a system of harbour patrols with particular attention to small craft coming from overseas; and

- patrolling the approaches of the major ports and any other areas in which it is suggested drops of illegal drugs take place (B167).

31 There should be a realisation in planning the future of the Customs fleet that it will be better to rely on other agencies such as the Defence Department or a State Fisheries Department to provide a platform for operations at a distance from Australian land and that

it is not necessary, with the upgrading of the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre, for Customs to undertake primary surveillance in remote areas. The Customs fleet capability should be directed at ports, esturaries, and areas close to land (B167--68).

32 The Bureau of Customs should act in conformity with the

recommendations made in Part XIII Chapter 1. Those recommendations include:

- There should be urgent intensificaton and expansion of the use of drug detector dogs.

- A national training establishment for all dogs used in law enforcement, anti-terrorism work, prison services and by the Defence Force should be set up by the Commonwealth. The establishment should serve the needs of both Commonwealth and

State agencies.

- Efforts should be made promply to establish whether drug

detector dogs have a greater part to play in the detection of drugs imported in cargo and particularly in cargo containers (B168).

33 The Bureau of Customs should be given the task of planning the specialist training for drug detector dogs within the national training establishment proposed in Part XIII Chapter 1 (B168).

34 All law enforcement bodies, Commonwealth or State , should be encouraged to look to the local Collector of the Bureau of Customs to provide drug detector dogs and handlers to be used in searching for drugs and the Bureau of Customs should accept the responsibility of providing this service (B168).

35 The Bureau of Customs should make arrangements for the use of facilities for ultrasound examination recommended in part XIII Chapter 2 (B168).

36 Increased attention and resources should be given to the detection and interception of drugs illegally imported through shipping and air cargo. Special emphasis should be placed on containerised cargo. To this end there should be:

- co-operation by the Bureau of Customs commercial intelligence cells with the National and with the State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres to develop operational priorities;

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- increased liasion through the National Criminal Drug

Intelligence Centres with overseas agencies, to improve Australian methodology and systems and the exchange of operational intelligence;

- strenuous efforts to increase co-operation with import and Customs agents who can provide valuable information but who need to be assured that any delays in the processing of cargo are based on legitimate concern;

- a special random program of searching containers;

- a developing of skills in the searching of containers and

containerised cargo. The necessary equipment to permit such searching should be acquired;

- an amendment to the Customs Act to require the sealing of

containers and to permit Customs to maintain the necessary control over them (B168--69).

37 Programs commenced in New South Wales for the monitoring of the effectiveness of particular elements of 'the Customs screen' to interdict the illegal importation of drugs should be expanded, and in the light of such monitoring, changes to existing procedures should be made promptly. In particular, the following matters should be kept under constant review:

- procedures for dealing with unaccompanied baggage;

- random saturation searches of passengers and cargo;

- container cargoes;

- drug detector dog teams;

- special squads;

- launch patrols (B169).

38 The Internal Affairs Unit should be upgraded in its powers and responsibilities for the investigation of complaints made against Customs officers and for the maintenance of security. In relation to the investigation of complaints:

- All complaints must be recorded, and submitted promptly to the Internal Affairs Unit.

- There must be a thorough and impartial investigation of

complaints.

- A written report on each complaint including recommendations for action should be submitted promptly to the Permanent Head of the Department of Business and Consumer Affairs.

- The Permanent Head should act on the recommendations made in the report or state in writing his reasons for not doing so.

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- The complainant should be promptly advised of the outcome of the investigation of his/her complaint.

- The Permanent Head should ensure the statistics on the workings of the Internal Affairs Unit on complaints are regularly published.

- Where a complaint involves a possible breach of the Crimes Act an officer of the Australian Federal Police or of a State police force should, as a matter of course, be seconded to assist the Internal Affairs Unit in the investigation (B169).

39 The provisions of the Customs Act relating to personal searches at the barrier should be amended in the following respects;

- Section 196A should be amended to the effect that when an

officer of Customs or police has, as a result of his personal observation or information received by him, reasonable cause to suspect that a person is carrying within his body cavities any goods subject to the control of Customs or any prohibited

imports, he may require the person to undergo a preliminary ultrasound examination by a prescribed device operated by an authorised medical practitioner.

- The person required to undergo such an examination shall be obliged to accompany the officer and undergo the examination to the satisfaction of such officer of Customs or police in circumstances affording the greatest practicable privacy.

- Refusal to undergo a preliminary ultrasound examination should be deemed 'reasonable cause to suspect' within the terms of Section 196B, so as to found an order for a search of the body cavities by an authorised medical practitioner.

- The authorised medical practitioner carrying out the ultrasound examination shall certify the results of the examination and hand a copy to the person examined and to the officer of

Customs or police who required the examination. The

certificate shall be admissible and prima facie evidence of the results of the examination.

- Section 196B of the Customs Act should be amended to provide that a person who is ordered by a magistrate to submit to an examination by an authorised medical practitioner of his body cavities be detained for a period not exceeding three days to permit this to be done. At the expiration of that period if an

examination continues to be justified, the person may be brought back before the magistrate who may make a further order requiring an examination or may impose a penalty or both.

- There should be provision protecting all those who exercise powers under Sections 196A and 196B from any liability for the reasonable exercise of those powers. Such provisions should provide appropriate authorities with power to keep a person in

custody, to restrain and to search, using no more force than is reasonably required (B169--70).

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40 Customs legislation relating to cargo should be amended as follows:

- A new section be inserted into the Customs Act to provide that no goods shall be brought into Australia in a cargo container unless such a container has been sealed with a seal or fastener approved by the Comptroller-General and all such seals and fasteners are marked with an individual identifying number which is recorded on all documents presented to obtain Customs

clearance of the container and its contents.

- A new section be inserted into the Customs Act to provide that any person who takes delivery of a container which has its seal or fastener broken or altered or otherwise tampered with must notify a Collector of Customs immediately of that fact. It should be an offence to open, alter, make, break, tamper, or otherwise deal with a container seal without the authority in writing of the Collector.

- Section 40AA of the Customs Act be amended to provide that a permission granted under that section to remove goods subject to the control of Customs from one specified place to another, where that permission has been granted on a continuing basis,

shall be made conditional upon the person specified in the permission:

. listing all goods to

permission; and

be removed pursuant to such

. notifying the Collector removal. of Customs prior to any such

Section 71A of the Customs Act be amended to restrict the operation of this section to the classes of goods currently prescribed by Regulation 42 of the Customs Regulations (B170-- 71).

41 Sections 59(1) and (2), 73, 185, and 228(2), (3) and (6 ) of the Customs Act should be amended to substitute 'twelve nautical miles' for the phrase 'three nautical miles' (B171).

42 Part IV of the Customs Act should be amended to provide that yachts and other small craft not engaged in the importation or exportation of goods may be licensed by a Collector and, on such licensing, be exempted from complying with the provision of Part IV of the Customs Act to the extent that the Collector thinks fit. In this regard:

- Detailed provisions should be inserted into the Customs Regulations, first, to cover the registering of small craft when those craft meet requirements as to visible markings and the installation of radio equipment and, second, to require any craft so registered to notify in advance its intended arrival at a proclaimed port from overseas.

- The penalties provided for breaches of Sections 58 to 63 (inclusive) of the Customs Act should be substantially increased (B171).

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43 Section 229A(6) of the Customs Act should be amended by inserting '229' after '204 to 209 (inclusive)' so as to read '204 to 209 (inclusive), 229' (B171).

44 Section 253 of the Customs Act should be amended to provide that an officer of Customs or police, appearing as a witness in a

prosecution under the Act to give evidence of any investigation in which he has been involved, should not be compelled to disclose the fact that he received information or the nature or source of that information (B171).

45 A provision be inserted into the Customs Regulations to make explicit a Customs Officer's authority to demand proof of identity and other relevant facts from persons seeking to have unaccompanied personal baggage from overseas cleared by Customs for delivery within Australia (B171).

46 Persons charged with offences under the Customs Act involving the importation or attempted importation of prohibited imports which are narcotic goods in 'traffickable quantities', should be subject to the same limitations with respect to admission to bail as are contained in the proposed Uniform Drug Trafficking Act (B171--72).

47 The Australian Federal Police should be responsible for enforcing Commonwealth laws in respect of drugs other than at the Customs barrier. At the barrier the Australian Federal Police and the Bureau of Customs should have concurrent responsibility (B180).

48 No time should be lost in arranging for the secondment of officers of the Australian Federal Police to the drug or other appropriate squads of State police forces to permit them to acquire expertise in drug law enforcement (B180).

49 The role of the Australian Federal Police in enforcement of

Commonwealth laws in respect of drugs should reflect the National Strategy on Drug Abuse dealt with in Part XIV of this Report (B181).

50 The Australian Federal Police should develop its participation in joint task forces made up of its members and officers of other law enforcement agencies which have been identified as able to provide suitable assistance (B181).

51 When the proposed National Drug Information Centre and the proposed National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre are set up, the holdings of the Australia Crime Intelligence Centre relevant to drug law enforcement should be divided appropriately between them (B181).

52 The future role of police forces in dealing with drug-related crime should be shaped by the National Strategy on Drug Abuse developed in Part XIV of this Report (B237).

53 To assist police efforts in implementation of this Strategy priority should be given to the Uniform Drug Trafficking Act and the national system of Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres also dealt with in Part XIV (Chapters 3 and 4 respectively) (B237).

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54 The first task of the proposed National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre should be to identify those areas requiring intensive law enforcement effort and those where such effort can be most effective. Priority should be given to the most dangerous drugs, the better organised groups, and the most significant individuals involved in drug trafficking. These are matters dealt with in Part IV, Chapter 7, 'The Organised Basis of Drug-related Crime1 (B237).

55 Immediate steps should be taken to increase the resources of the police drug squads of the States and Territories by:

- increasing the number of drug squad members generally;

- increasing the female component of drug squads;

- increasing appropriate support facilities such as clerical assistance (B237).

56 An intensified program of exchange of members of the drug squads of all police forces should be introduced. This program should be additional to other exchanges that will occur by secondment to the proposed National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre (B238).

57 Drug squads should consciously allocate some part of their resources to traffickers at as high a level as is practicable and another part to support segments of the police force engaged in dealing with drug-related matters (B238).

58 The drug law enforcement course conducted at the Australian Police College at Manly should:

- be expanded in content to deal with matters relevant to the proposed Drugs of Dependence legislation;

- be conducted four times a year; and

- reflect the current drug 'scene'. In this respect the

resources of the proposed Drug Information Centres, as well as of the proposed Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres, should, in time, prove of assistance (B238).

5 9 Training programs on the application of the criminal law to drug abusers should be developed and continually reviewed. They should encompass:

- a fresh emphasis on discretion when dealing with minor

offenders and the relatives and friends of drug abusers;

- the proper role of treatment;

- the whereabouts and capabilities of treatment facilities;

- the characteristics of drugs commonly abused;

- the inter-relationship of the abuse of legal drugs and illegal drug abuse;

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- the role of drug education (B238).

60 An increased emphasis should be placed on the exchange of

information amongst police forces at an operational level in the use of informers, their control and management (B238).

61 Serious and continuing consideration should be given by each police force, in developing training and operational resources, to the contribution that can be made by other police forces. This

contribution can take the form of providing ideas, lecturers, and equipment; it could be most useful in planning programs of all kinds (B238).

62 Joint task forces should be regularly used. These joint task forces should include non-police resources when these are useful. This is further developed in Part XIII, Chapter 8 , 'Task Forces' (B238).

63 Strong support should be given to the proposed State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres and through them the proposed National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre (B239).

64 Liaison with overseas enforcement agencies should be effected through the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre (B239).

65 State police forces should co-operate with the Australian Federal Police in its compilation of an index of police with foreign language skills. Police so identified should be available to all police forces to assist in the investigation of criminal activities

among ethnic groups. Any deficiencies in language skills which are identified should be rectified by the Commonwealth arranging to send select police to attend appropriate language courses (B239).

66 Increased emphasis should be placed on the financial implications of the illegal importation, production and trafficking of drugs. This will require fresh investigation techniques and the development of new resouces and skills some of which are dealt with in Part XIII,

Chapter 5, 'Financial Controls' (B239).

67 Close and continuing attention should be given to the investigation of allegations of corruption or misconduct by police to ensure that such investigatons are carried out and the public is satisfied they are carried out (B239).

68 Particular attention should be given to the investigation of allegations of corruption and misconduct made against public figures. The Commission makes this recommendation because it believes it is in the public interest and in the interest of the public figures concerned that such allegations of corruption and misconduct involving drugs should be promptly and rigorously

investigated (B239).

69 A proven system of recording, investigating and reporting on allegations of corruption and misconduct should be implemented by every police force (B239).

70 Investigations into allegations of corruption should be carried out by police officers. Where practicable an investigation into a

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serious allegation should be made by a team including elements from another police force (B239).

71 The desirability of having an independent body such as an Ombudsman monitor investigations by police into allegations of misconduct or corruption should be kept under review. If reasons of effectiveness or public confidence make it desirable, such a procedure should be implemented (B239).

72 A rigid system of controls should be applied and enforced to account for drugs, money, and other property seized or acquired by police (B239).

73 Any property damaged or destroyed in the course of police operations should be repaired or restitution made to the owner. To this end the Commission recommends the creation of a statutory right in the property owner to obtain compensation (B239).

74 All drugs seized or otherwise obtained by police should be subjected to a quantitative and qualitative analysis (B240).

75 Each police force should ensure that information released to the media on drug law enforcement matters is made only by certain designated spokesmen. Such spokesmen should be readily available to the media (B240).

76 The system developed by the Government of Tasmania, utilising the computerised records of the National Drugs of Dependence Monitoring System extended to pharmacy and patient level, should be adopted by the Governments of the States and Territories to regulate prescribing, dispensing and consumption of drugs by doctors, pharmacists and patients respectively (B259).

77 The Governments of the States and Territories should legislate to require pharmacists to forward copies of all NH & MRC Schedule 8 prescriptions to the body responsible for health administration in that State or Territory as soon as practicable after the

prescription is dispensed. The copies of the prescriptions so forwarded should be subjected promptly to routine surveillance by those bodies (B259).

78 The Governments of the States and Territories should implement through the body responsible for health administration in that State or Territory a regular system of inspections by qualified personnel directed at enforcing the regulations in relation to the following:

- Pharmacies (including hospital and institutional pharmacies)--an inspection every six months.

- Manufacturing and wholesale premises-- an inspection every twelve months.

- Packing and labelling of drugs routine surveillance.

- Advertising of drugs routine surveillance (B259--60).

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79 Sufficient appropriately qualified personnel should be recruited to enable the recommended schedule of inspections to be undertaken and maintained (B260).

80 The Governments of the States and Territories should enact laws to require medical practitioners, when approached by a person requesting narcotic drugs, to obtain the following information:

- whether that person has used narcotic drugs within the previous six months;

- the names and addresses of any medical practitioners and/or institutions which have provided that person with treatment within the previous six months, and

- the circumstances of any such use (B260).

81 The Governments of the States and Territories should promulgate regulations similar to Regulation 64(6) and (7) of the New South Wales Poisons Regulations pursuant to which a pharmacist may only dispense a prescription for specified drugs of addiction if he is

familiar with the prescribing doctor's handwriting, knows the person to whom the drug is prescribed or has verified the prescription with the prescribing doctor (B260).

82 The Governments of the States and the Territories, after consulting with one another and with the Commonwealth, should enact laws to provide for the uniform scheduling of drugs of dependence throughout Australia (B260).

PART VII Organisations with an Indirect Enforcement Role

83 The Migration Act 1958 should be amended to put all persons who are not Australian citizens on the same footing in relation to

deportation and to abolish the provision that an immigrant with five years lawful residence in Australia cannot be deported (B271).

84 The Commonwealth Government should arrange formally with the State and Territory Governments for the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs to be informed by the relevant justice authorities when a foreign national is convicted of a criminal offence in Australia and, where a prison sentence is imposed, when he or she is

due for release from prison (B271).

85 Foreign offenders in Australia who are liable to deportation should in no circumstances be paroled for the sole purpose of deportation (B271).

86 The Commonwealth Government should study the possibility of collecting, on a selective basis, records of travel and residence of members of any groups of common ethnic origin known or suspected to be involved in illicit drug-related activity. The proposed Criminal

Drug Intelligence Centres, which the Commission later recommends be set up, should be able to make this selection (B271).

87 The Commonwealth government should negotiate with the New Zealand Government the amendment of the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement by

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the introduction of a requirement that any person to whom the Arrangement applies be required to carry a valid passport-- i.e., all travellers between the two countries should be required to carry valid passports, with visa where applicable (B271).

88 The Commonwealth Government should investigate with the New Zealand Government the possibility of improving the flow of criminal intelligence concerning travellers entering or leaving the two countries and related matters; and the investigation should extend to consideration of possibilities of harmonising visa warning arrangements and entry and departure checking procedures. The proposed National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre should play the vital role in making this improvement (B271).

89 As a general rule, applicants for passports should be required, in addition to obtaining the normal certification, to present themselves in person at an office of the Department of Foreign Affairs and to produce there any supporting documentation required

to satisfy the issuing officer as to their identity (B279).

90 Applicants for passports unable to present themselves in person should be required to support their application by a special certificate obtained from a magistrate or Clerk of a Court of Petty Sessions who has satisfied himself of their identity (B279).

91 Application procedures should be waived at an issuing officer's discretion only:

(a) in case of emergency, for the issue of a passport of limited validity.

(b) when an application seeks to replace a passport before its expiry and that passport is submitted with the application (B279).

92 Members of the public should be encouraged to obtain passports well in advance of any projected overseas trip (B279).

93 The State and Territory authorities should consider requesting Registrars of Births to review the conditions under which birth certificates are provided to applicants to see whether some test of identity might be introduced (B279).

94 Law enforcement agencies dealing with drug matters should be provided with access to scientific facilities to permit the rapid analysis of drugs to establish their identity and legality. Law enforcement agencies should also be provided with access to quantitative analysis (B311).

95 The results of drug analysis should normally be capable of being proved in court by the production of the analyst's certificate. The analyst should be called only when his presence is really necessary (B311).

96 Scientific support should be developed in the context of forensic laboratories (this is discussed in Part XIII Chapter 3) (B311).

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97 It should not be necessary to charge drug offenders with an offence in respect of which the establishment of the origin of the drug outside Australia is an essential element (B312).

98 Laboratories engaged in carrying out the analytical functions referred to above should be supported by a co-ordinated research effort (B312).

99 State and Territory resources for fisheries protection should be co­ ordinated along with similar resources into a coastal surveillance system as comprehensive as existing circumstances permit (B326).

100 State and Territory bodies with responsibility for enforcement of quarantine regulations and for the protection of native fauna and flora should be co-ordinated along with similar resources into a coastal surveillance system as comprehensive as existing circumstances permit (B336--37).

101 The proposed National and State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres should be supplied with all relevant information from as many sources as possible to permit them to monitor any relationship that may be shown to exist between drug smuggling and the illegal export

of native animals and plants (B337).

PART VIII Coastal Surveillance

102 Surveillance of Australia's coastline should not be confined to northern Australia (B441).

103 Initially emphasis in surveillance should be put upon the northern Australian coastline and on the areas adjacent to the major population centres (B441).

104 Emphasis in surveillance should be adjusted in the light of information gained, including that from the regular monitoring of the results of surveillance (B441).

105 Responsibility for the development, co-ordination and direction of all civil coastal surveillance should be vested in the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre (B441).

106 The Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre should develop to fulfil the charter of monitoring the whereabouts of an unauthorised intruder from the point at which it is detected to the point at which the authority concerned with investigating the intruder no

longer requires its whereabouts to be monitored (B442).

107 Information received by the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre should be continuously monitored to:

- permit any necessary adjustments of emphasis to be made;

- ascertain the extent of any increase in resources necessary to fulfil efficiently the charter referred to above;

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- assess the degree to which dissemination to the public of information on the role of the Centre is proving adequate (B442).

108 The work of identifying and recruiting the resources of the public sector-- Commonwealth, State and Local Government---and of the private sector to assist in improving coastal surveillance should be given a high priority (B442).

109 Arrangements should be made with the States for the regular secondment of State officers to work at the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre so that after a period of time there will be in every State a body of State officers familiar with the detail of the Centre's work. Secondments should be for periods not less than three months (B442).

110 The Defence Forces should be involved in coastal surveillance as much as possible. Extra expenditure on the Defence Forces so that they can conduct more surveillance will often be cheaper than expenditure otherwise incurred and will bring extra benefits to Australia in the form of increased Defence Force training (B442).

111 The Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre should maintain close liaison with the proposed National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre and to that end an officer from the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre should, on a rotating basis, be appointed liaison officer to the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre. During the term of his appointment as liaison officer it should be expected that the officer will spend a substantial period of his working time at the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre (B442).

112 Those information holdings of CASOS which are directly relevant to coastal surveillance should be transferred to the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre (B442).

113 The Bureau of Customs should ensure that there is available twenty- four hours a day an officer deputised to liaise with the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre in relation to unauthorised intrusions and their subsequent monitoring by the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre (B442).

114 Other departments with responsibilities relating to unauthorised intrusions should consider the desirability of appointing liaison officers to the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre (B442).

115 The responsibility for three Nomad aircraft dedicated to coastal surveillance by the Bureau of Customs should be transferred to the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre (B443).

116 As recommended in Part VI Chapter 5, the Customs fleet should be upgraded (B443).

117 If monitoring of the results of coastal surveillance reveals that greater emphasis needs to be given to the northern coast of

Australia, the Commonwealth Government should consider re-locating the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre in the north of Australia (B443).

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PART IX International Initiatives

118 In promoting international efforts against drug abuse, Australia should continue to concentrate its international efforts on the known drug production and transit countries in South-East Asia (B472).

119 The origin and volume of illegal drugs detected entering Australia should be monitored so that the proper application of the preceding recommendaton may be kept continually under review (B473).

120 Australian support for UNFDAC should be maintained at its present level but reviewed regularly (B473).

121 Australian support for crop substitution programs in South-East Asia, both multilaterally and bilaterally, should be maintained at its present level but reviewed regularly (B473).

122 Australia should undertake bilateral assistance to South-East Asian countries in improving their drug law enforcement capabilities by:

- providing training in Australia or South-East Asia in law enforcement procedures and related techniques including forensic science;

- supplying law enforcement equipment; and

- giving technical assistance in fields related to drug law enforcement (B473).

123 The outposting of liaison officers to South-East Asian countries should be maintained and, where practicable, their number increased. The provision of additional liaison officers at sensitive places in South-East Asia, where either there are no liaison officers or the

service is inadequate, should be kept continually under review (B473) .

124 The proposed National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre should pay particular attention to developing and maintaining an oversight of the availability, prices and purity of illegal drugs in South-East Asia (B473).

PART X Treatment

125 Steps should be undertaken to institute specialist training in the field of drug dependence for medical and non-medical professionals in the form of undergraduate, post-graduate, and in-course training (C6 8 ).

126 A system of staff rotation should be introduced into the general health care system to provide sufficient numbers of professional staff to work in this field (C6 8 ).

127 A special section of the Health Department in each State or

Territory should be set up to administer legislation dealing specifically with drugs of dependence. The Commission returns to this topic in Part XIV Chapter 5 (C6 8 ).

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128 All treatment services should be registered with a special section of the State Health Department and on such registration should state:

- the aims of the service;

- the facilities the service has.

Such statements should be kept up to date (C6 8 ).

129 Any treatment program that is, on balance, achieving some measure of success in terms of the goals previously stated should be continued (C6 8 ).

130 Public funding of treatment services should be made only after consideration of a recommendation thereon by the special section of the Health Department (C6 8 ).

131 A register should be kept in each State of all persons who have been treated for dependence upon narcotic drugs. The register should be confidential to the special section of the Health Department administering drugs of dependence legislation so far as the names and personal details of any dependent persons are concerned. As a data base it should be available to the State Drug Information Centre for research by it or at its direction (C68--69).

132 A special register should be kept of persons receiving narcotic maintenance to eliminate multiple supplying of maintenance doses (C69).

133 Voluntary organisations should be encouraged to persevere with and expand their efforts in the field of drug dependence. The statement of their aims and the evaluation of their success in achieving those aims should be seen by them as vital to their efforts (C69).

134 Encouragement to voluntary organisations should be in the form of financial aid contingent upon evaluation of treatment programs (C69).

135 Expansion of treatment services and facilities should be undertaken in a rational way so that as an ideal no one in Australia is too far geographically removed from:

- detoxification facilities;

- narcotic maintenance clinics;

- long term residential facilities for those undergoing rehabilitation and requiring intensive physical and psychological care;

- short term residential facilities for those requiring care for short periods following detoxification or when relapse to former drug-using style appears imminent;

- out-patient rehabilitation facilities;

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- emergency accommodation;

24-hour counselling to aid in crisis intervention;

- family support facilities;

- information centres/shop fronts to provide information, counselling on drug use and legal advice to drug users and others concerned with drugs;

- drop-in centres where drug abusers can obtain counselling. This should perform the function of an open door for entry into any treatment regime. It is important to attract drug users to treatment programs in the early stages of misuse;

- outreach programs to reach those unaware that help is available or unwilling to seek help (C69).

136 Recognising the importance of attracting drug users in the early stages, facilities such as information centres, drop-in centres and outreach programs should be encouraged. Facilities of this kind could well be sponsored by local government authorities or local community drug liaison committees: see Part XIV Chapter 7 (C69).

137 The widespread abuse of legal drugs, including alcohol, analgesics, sedatives, and tranquillisers, should be recognised and steps taken to attract persons abusing these drugs to treatment (C70).

138 The prescribing of methadone in ampoule and in tablet form to persons addicted to narcotics should be stopped immediately (C70).

139 Use of methadone as a preventive measure should continue in accordance with the recommendations of the NH & MRC (C70).

140 It should be recognised that methadone is not a panacea for drug addiction (C70).

141 An independent referral agency should be appointed to:

- assess each drug dependent person and direct him to the most appropriate treatment service;

- make assessments and reports to the courts in the course of operating a diversionary scheme.

It is thought that the independent referral agency could be administered directly by the special section of the Health Department dealing with drugs of dependence to ensure a sufficient geographical spread of the independent referral agency's resources

(C70).

142 A central authority should be set up to:

- monitor, evaluate and investigate treatment programs and report the findings;

- co-ordinate research carried out by treatment organisations;

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- establish procedures and principles for evaluating programs;

- aid in the establishment of training programs;

- participate in the selection of organisations to receive government grants;

- publish regularly the findings it makes on the efficacy of treatment.

The Commission develops this recommendation in Part XIV Chapter 6 (C70).

143 The States and Territories should legislate to set up diversionary programs for illegal drug users. The matter is considered in more detail in Part XIV Chapter 5 (C70).

144 The desirability of complusory treatment for incorrigible drug abusers should be kept under review. To this end:

- the Tasmanian and British Columbian systems should be

monitored;

- National and State Drug Information Centres (if they are

instituted as is recommended elsewhere) should be required to give priority to identifying any problem presented by incorrigible illegal drug abusers (C70--71).

PART XI Drug Education

145 Departments, authorities and organisations involved in drug education or having responsibility for decision-making in relation to drug education should:

- give continuing critical attention to drug education

activities, particularly in identifying target groups and adapting programs to the varying needs of the groups

identified;

- continually review the effectiveness of drug education as an overall means of combating drug abuse;

- regularly assess the effectiveness of individual programs against pre-determined objectives. A program which is assessed as not achieving its objectives should be discontinued and any financial or other support withdrawn (C145).

146 Any program designed to educate the community or parts of the community in relation to the use and abuse of drugs should concern itself with all drugs, including alcohol and nicotine (Cl46).

147 Bodies implementing practical programs of drug education should be encouraged to submit details of their programs and their

achievements to the State or Territorial drug information centres. The provision of such details should be mandatory in circumstances where public funds are involved (C146).

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1^8 Information officers should be appointed to each State or Territorial drug information centre, their most important function being to make available to the public in general and the media in particular all relevant information upon the situation relating to drugs (C146).

149 The present restricted advertising of drugs should be continued with appropriate monitoring of the effectiveness of both legal and voluntary sanctions (C146).

150 The extent and continuity of funding for education programs should take into account the necessity for forward planning and the retention of staff in an established career structure (C146).

151 Educators should direct increased efforts towards impressing on parents their responsibilities to their children and to the community in influencing young people to adopt healthy attitudes towards drug use. At the same time due acknowledgment and support

should be given to stable families who contribute so much to minimising drug abuse and other social problems (C146).

PART XII Drug Use Controls

152 The NH & MRC recommendations of April 1977 on controls over

analgesics should be uniformly implemented in all States and Territories (C175).

153 Clinical studies being undertaken overseas on the use of heroin in medical practice should be monitored by the Commonwealth Department of Health with a view to considering the desirability of conducting clinical studies in Australia (C200).

154 No action to relax the present legal controls on the use of heroin in medical practice should be contemplated unless it is clearly established that at least:

- clinical studies have demonstrated that heroin has significant, unique properties as an analgesic which require its use in specified areas of medical practice, and

- strict control procedures can be implemented which will

effectively prevent legal heroin being diverted to uses other than in specified areas of medical practice (C200).

155 Heroin should not be used for maintaining drug dependent persons in

the course of their treatment (C200).

156 The drug methaqualone, or Mandrax, or any other preparation of which methaqualone constitutes a part, should be absolutely prohibited from importation into Australia, and its use or possession after 30 June 1980 should be absolutely prohibited in any part of the

Commonwealth of Australia (C205).

157 Pentazocine should be included as a Schedule 8 drug in all States " and Territories of the Commonwealth of Australia (C209).

158 The National Policy on Methadone should be continued and be strictly enforced (C214).

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159 No relaxation of the present Australian prohibition on cannabis should be made for ten years from the commencement of the operation of the Drug Information Centres recommended in Part XIV (C269).

160 At the expiration of the ten years the legal prohibition against cannabis should be reviewed by the Commonwealth and State

Governments acting in concert (C269).

PART XIII Improving Some Existing Controls.

161 A national training establishment for all dogs used in law enforcement, anti-terrorism work, prison services, and by the armed services should be set up by the Commonwealth. The establishment should serve the needs of both Commonwealth and State agencies

(C297).

162 The national training establishment should have a single

administration to conduct:

- a dog selection program;

- a basic training course for dogs and handlers;

- courses for specialist training in such fields as detection of drugs and explosives (C297).

163 Careful consideration should be given to the suitable location of such an establishment bearing in mind:

- the number, types, breeds, and ages of dogs that may be

involved;

- the variations in the type of training and facilities necessary for the dogs and handlers (C297).

164 The national training establishment should be subject to policy control by a committee on which all interested departments, both Commonwealth and State, have representation (C297).

165 One Commonwealth department should be given the responsibility of administering the national training establishment subject to the directions of the policy committee and should be given adequate resources to do so (C297).

166 The Bureau of Customs should be given the task of planning the specialist training for drug detector dogs within the national training establishment (C297).

167 The instructional staff for the national training establishment should be drawn from Commonwealth and State agencies with an interest in the establishment (C297).

168 Commonwealth and State agencies should ensure so far as practicable that officers returning after secondment to the national training establishment are given a responsibility for assisting agency efforts in continuing on-the-job training for graduate dogs (C297).

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169 Specialised courses should be conducted as a part of the overall central training establishment's program (C297).

170 The national training establishment should maintain records of the careers of its graduate dogs with a view to re-training them if necessary and to continual improvement of its training programs (C297).

171 All law enforcement bodies, Commonwealth or State, should be encouraged to look to the local Collector of the Bureau of Customs to provide drug detector dogs and handlers to be used in searching for drugs, and the Bureau of Customs should accept the

responsibility of providing this service (C298).

172 The proposed National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre should be responsible for monitoring the overall effectiveness of dogs in drug detection and reporting at regular intervals to the proposed policy committee and thence to the national training establishment (C298).

173 In the context of the foregoing Recommendations there should be:

- urgent intensification and expansion of the use of drug

detector dogs in drug law enforcement;

- efforts made promptly to establish whether such dogs have a greater part to play in the detection of drugs imported in cargo and particularly in cargo containers (C298).

174 Ultrasonic examination for internal drug concealment should be utilised (C306).

175 The Bureau of Customs should make arrangements for the use of facilities for ultrasound examination of any person whom an officer of Customs or police, on personal observation or information received by him, has reasonable cause to suspect is carrying within his body cavities any drugs the importation of which is prohibited

(C306).

176 Such facilities should be available in an appropriate hospital in each city having an international airport (C306) .

177 The Customs Act should be amended in the following respects:

- Section 196A should be amended to the effect that when an

officer of Customs or police has, as a result of his personal observation or information received by him, reasonable cause to suspect that a person is carrying within his body cavities any goods subject to the control of Customs or any prohibited

imports, he may require the person to undergo a preliminary ultrasound examination by a prescribed device operated by an authorised medical practitioner.

- The person required to undergo such an examination shall be obliged to accompany the officer and undergo the examination to the Satisfaction of such officer of Customs or police in circumstances affording the greatest practicable privacy.

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- Refusal to undergo a preliminary ultrasound examination should be deemed 'reasonable cause to suspect' within the terms of Section 196B, so as to found an order for a search of the body cavities by an authorised medical practitioner.

- The authorised medical practitioner carrying out the ultrasound examination shall certify the results of the examination and hand a copy to the person examined and to the officer of

Customs or police who required the examination. The

certificate shall be admissible and prima facie evidence of the results of the examination.

- Section 196B of the Customs Act should be amended to provide that a person who is ordered by a magistrate to submit to an examination by an authorised medical practitioner of his body cavities be detained for a period not exceeding three days to permit this to be done. At the expiration of that period if an examination continues to be justified, the person may be brought back before the magistrate who may make a further order

requiring an examination or may impose a penalty or both.

- There should be provision protecting all those who exercise powers under Sections 196A and 196B from any liability for the reasonable exercise of those powers. Such provisions should provide appropriate authorities with power to keep a person in

custody, to restrain and to search, using no more force than is reasonably required (C306--07).

178 A national system of forensic science laboratories should be set up along the lines expressed in the following recommendations (C336).

179 A forensic science laboratory funded by Commonwealth and State moneys should be set up as soon as possible in each State and

Territory to provide forensic services to Commonwealth and State agencies operating within that State (C336).

180 Forensic science laboratories should be set up progressively without waiting for unanimous agreement between Commonwealth and States as to the exact form they should take in every State (C336).

181 Each forensic science laboratory should be autonomous and independent of the police and other Government departments (C336).

182 Each forensic science laboratory set up should:

- be well planned and expertly staffed and equipped;

be independent of police as to premises, staffing, and administration;

- be required to give priority to police work over the work of other agencies and the public;

- have a capacity to analyse all drugs which come into the

possession of police and the Bureau of Customs;

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- be required to report periodically to the State Drug

Information Centre the results of such analyses;

- be given initially resources in the fields of:

. toxicology . botany

. forensic biology . ballistics . documents . photography . general chemistry (C336).

183 No start should be made on a national forensic science research institute until at least three State forensic laboratories have been operating for twelve months.

The Commission sees the development of a national forensic science research institute, as did Sir Robert Mark in his report to the Australian Government dated 6 April 1978, as a natural development from established forensic science laboratories, not as an

institution which can be created without a working base (C337).

184 The States and Territories should forthwith adopt legislation in the terms of Regulation 64(6) and (7) of the State Poisons Act 1966 (NSW) (C363).

185 State and Territory Health authorities should circulate from time to time to all medical practitioners a list of the most commonly used NH & MRC Schedule 8 drugs showing both generic and trade names (C363).

186 States and Territories should introduce legislation requiring prescribers of any drug referred to in such a list as mentioned in the previous recommendaton to use specially serialised and coloured prescription forms taken from a specially prepared pad, containing

such number of forms that after proper use thereof one completed copy of each prescription remains in the pad (C363).

187 The Commonwealth Department of Health should continue to provide assistance to States using or intending to use serialised

prescription forms for the prescribing of Schedule 8 drugs (C363).

188 The Commonwealth Department of Health should reintroduce urgently a suitable system to detect forged prescriptions presented under the National Health Act (C363).

189 Continued and increased attention should be given to:

- the financial implications of the illegal importation, production and trafficking of drugs;

- the utilisaton of existing resources within the Australian Taxation Office and the Foreign Exchange Control Section of the Reserve Bank of Australia in assisting in law enforcement; and

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further endeavours to identify and develop new resources in this area (C375).

190 Existing foreign exchange controls should be more strictly enforced (C375).

191 The Australian Federal Police should be encouraged:

- to engage in that enforcement;

- to take steps to establish the accessability of records held by the Reserve Bank in respect of Foreign Exchange Control transactions; and

- to build up a degree of experience and expertise in the

utilisation of those records (C375).

192 Efforts should be made to determine the aggregate amount of money generated by the illegal importation, production and trafficking of drugs in Australia, and the sources and destinations of such funds.

In the view of the Commission it is only in the light of the most complete information, including the kind referred to, that the impact of the illegal drug trade on Australian society, the Australian economy, and Australia and Australians as a whole, can be

fully appreciated. It is only when that impact is fully appreciated that responsible and effective decisions, for the allocation of resources and in respect of the adequacy of existing laws, can be made (C375) .

193 Law enforcement agencies should pay close attention on a continuing basis to the finanical implications of the individual illegal importation, production and trafficking cases they are dealing with. This requires:

- increased attention to the financial aspects of the illegal importation, production and trafficking of drugs in the investigation of particular cases;

- training investigators in the implications of the financial aspects of transactions and in the means to deal with them in terms of training, expertise and appropriate powers; and

- equipping investigators, where the requirement has been demonstrated to exist, with additional resources.

It will be said rightly that implementation of these suggestions will impose burdens on law enforcement agencies which are already heavily burdened. So it will. This must be balanced against any increased effectiveness. Such an assessment can only be made on the basis of information (C375--76).

194 Careful attention should be paid to the identification of appropriate targets for the application of the resources being spoken of in this Chapter. Not every transaction relating to the illegal importation, production and trafficking of drugs will be worthy of detailed attention by enforcement agencies in respect of

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its financial implications. It is once again apposite to refer to the proposed role of the Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres in the area of developing targets (C376).

195 Section 16 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 should be amended in three respects:

1. It should be amended to give law enforcement agencies access to the records of the Austraian Taxation Office.

This access could be limited to members of the National or a State or Territory Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre. Access would be on the basis of an order obtained from a Judge of the Supreme Court of the State or Territory or of the Federal Court of Australia. The application would be supported by sworn

material-- which could be on the basis of information and belief and which would remain confidential to the court.

The material would be directed to establishing that access to the Office's records might assist law enforcement in

identifying or apprehending a member or members of a group responsible for continuing illegal importation, production or trafficking of drugs on a scale to supply a number of users. Information thus obtained from the Australian Taxation Office or officers thereof should not be able to be produced in any

court save as part of the case against a drug trafficker. Otherwise, officers of a Drug Intelligence Centre would be subject to the confidentiality provisions of Section 16.

The Centre should in due course report to the judge who makes the order the outcome of acting upon that order. A summary of the report for statistical recording will also be furnished to the Drug Information Centre.

2. Section 16 should be further amended to permit the Australian Taxation Office to provide a member of a law enforcement agency with information coming into the possession of the Office indicating that a person is engaged in the continuing illegal

importation, production or trafficking of drugs. The police officer receiving the information could claim absolute privilege against disclosing his source of information.

3. Section 16 should be further amended to permit the Australian Taxation Office to communicate general statistical information significant to drug trafficking to the nearest Drug Information Centre.

An example is the total amount in unpaid taxes recovered from time to time against those who have been convicted of offences against the Uniform Drug Trafficking Act (C376--77).

196 Support to the Australian Taxation Office in respect of the investigation of, and recovery of taxes and penalties from, those identified . to the Office as engaged in the illegal importation, production and trafficking of drugs should be increased (C377).

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197 The provisions of Regulation 6 of the Regulations governing the Reserve Bank should be amended to make it clear that the Reserve Bank may authorise a Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre in respect of persons or companies reasonably believed by the Director of such Centre to be engaged in drug trafficking:

- to have access to records;

- to permit it to copy documents; and

- to obtain information from the bank and its officers

in respect of transactions subject to foreign exchange controls (C377).

198 Greater attention should be given to the removal from Australia of Australian bank notes and cash in breach of the Foreign Exchange Control Regulations. Increased attention to security checks on outgoing flights should provide an opportunity in this regard.

Increased attention by law enforcement agencies to the financial implications of the illegal importation, production and trafficking of drugs will result in an increased flow of information which

should lead to increased detection of those who engage in this activity (C377).

199 Consideration should be given to such steps as checking, on a random basis, passengers and others departing Australia for destinations commonly visited by those who engage in the illegal importation of drugs, to discover breaches of those Regulations (C377).

200 The implementation of the foregoing recommendations should be periodically reviewed for:

- assessing the appropriate degree of allocation of resources to the activities in question;

- improving techniques;

- developing more appropriate legislation and administrative procedures to achieve the maximum impact of law enforcement on the financial aspects of the illegal importation, production and trafficking of drugs (C377).

201 The Postal Services Regulations should be amended to make express provision that:

- A letter received from a country or place outside Australia which may contain goods the importation of which is prohibited, may be opened by an authorised officer in the presence of an officer of Customs.

- If no illegal import is found in any postal article received from a country or place outside Australia which is opened, the article may be re-sealed and dealt with in the normal course of post. A notation that the article was opened for Customs

inspection may be placed in the article before this is done.

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- If a drug illegally imported is found in any postal article received from a country or place outside Australia which is opened then the drug may be handed to Customs to be disposed of.

- At the request of a Customs officer or a police officer

Australia Post should deliver the postal article, with or without the drug, in the normal course of post and without any indication it was opened. Any document contained in the postal article may be read by an officer of Customs or police but its

contents shall not be used or disclosed save to further the investigation of an illegal importation or in evidence against an illegal importer.

- If a drug, the possession or use of which is illegal, is found in any postal article in the internal postal system, then the drug may be handed to a police officer to be disposed of. At the request of a police officer Australia Post should deliver the postal article, with or without the drug, in the normal

course of post and without any indication it was opened. Any document contained in the postal article may be read by a police officer but its contents shall not be used or disclosed save to further the investigation of an illegal importation or

in evidence against an illegal importer (C383--84).

202 Statistics should be provided, to the State Criminal Drug

Intelligence Centre in the State where the drug is found, of all illegally imported drugs found in postal articles and of all drugs found in the domestic mail (C384).

203 Police should be permitted by law to intercept oral communications in aid of drug law enforcement (C393).

204 The use of such power to intercept should be restricted to cases where drugs are illegally imported, produced, or trafficked on a substantial scale (C393).

205 In the case of the interception of communications by telephonic or like systems, the interception should be permitted only on the order of a Judge of a Supreme Court of a State or Territory or of the

Federal Court of Australia (C393).

206 Before authorising interception the Judge should be satisfied:

- that the activity in question is drug trafficking in terms of the uniform drug trafficking legislation;

- as to the desirability of resorting to the interception of communications notwithstanding the availability of other investigative procedures;

- as to the method of communication sought to be intercepted, and the means to be employed in doing so;

- as to the identity, as far as is reasonably possible, of the persons whose communications are to be intercepted and the

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place at which and the means by which they are to be

intercepted;

- as to the identity of the person who is to supervise the making of the interception and who should be a member of a State or of the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre;

- with the arrangement to be made to eliminate or minimise the interception of communications unrelated to the matter being investigated;

- whether any private premises are to be entered without consent of the occupier and if so, they should be identified (C393-- 94).

207 The Judge may permit interception subject to such conditions in protection of the public interest as he thinks desirable (C394).

208 The order to intercept should initially permit the interception for a period limited to 10 days. There should be provision for further authorised interceptions for a period not to exceed 30 days upon applications duly made and authorised (C394).

209 The result of interception should be reported to the Judge who permits it, or in his absence, to another Judge of the same Court (C394).

210 Provision for the interception of communications in aid of drug law enforcement should be contained in the Uniform Drug Trafficking Act proposed by the Commission (C394).

211 The closest Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre (National or State) should be responsible for initiating an application to intercept (C394).

212 In the case of an interception of a communication made other than by a telephonic or like system of communication, the Director of the Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre for the area in question should be empowered to permit such interception where he is satisfied it is desirable in aid of law enforcement against drug trafficking (C394) .

213 Where it is necessary to enter the property of a person without the person's consent in order to place or maintain a listening device, it should be necessary to obtain the authority of a magistrate in the same way that it is necessary to obtain a search warrant (C394).

214 Careful consideration should be given to controlling the importation of devices which may be used by criminals to overhear radio and other communications by law enforcement agencies (C394).

Part XIV A National Strategy on Drug Abuse

215 Statutory recognition should be given to the difference which the community recognises between trafficker and pedlar/user (D28).

216 Supply of illegal drugs should be reduced by improving police and Customs capabilities (D28).

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217 Increased attention should be directed to the large trafficker under the Uniform Drug Trafficking Act which will give police greater powers and better resources (D28).

218 The pedlar/user and user should be directed towards treatment (D28).

219 The impact of the criminal law upon illegal drug experimenters should be minimised by allowing the expunging of convictions (D28).

220 A national system of Drug Information Centres should be set up which will monitor every aspect of the illegal drug abuse scene so that governments and the public can be informed of its size and any changing patterns (D28).

221 The abuse of legal drugs should be brought as soon as practicable within the purview of Drug Information Centres (D28).

222 Drug education should be intensified on all drugs of dependence not just illegal drugs (D28).

223 A review should be conducted on a continuing basis, with the assistance of the Drug Information Centres, of the efficacy of law enforcement, treatment and education in reducing drug abuse (D28).

224 There should be in force in every place in Australia legislation which in a uniform manner prohibits trafficking in illegal drugs, whether they are imported or locally produced (D29).

225 There should be enacted by the Commonwealth Parliament and by legislatures of the States and Territories legislation to form a National code to deal with drug trafficking, it being made clear that the legislation is to be enforced in each State as Federal and

as State legislation notwithstanding Section 109 of the Australian Constitution. The main features of this legislation are discussed fully in Chapter 3 of this Part (D29).

226 A National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre should be set up and in each State or Territory there should be set up a State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre (D4l).

227 The State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre should be administered by the State Police Department but it should be staffed not only by State police officers but also by officers seconded from the Australian Federal Police and the Bureau of Customs (D41).

228 The National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre should be

administered by the Australian Federal Police but should be staffed not only by Australian Federal Police officers but also by officers seconded from the Bureau of Customs and from State police forces (D42).

229 Effective and close liaison between the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre and the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre and the Joint Intelligence Organisation should be established by the appointment of an officer of the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre as liaison officer to each of the other two bodies which in

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turn should each appoint a liaison officer to the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre (D42).

230 Information entries onto the Customs computerised passenger identification system PASS (Passenger Automatic Selection System) which relate to drug trafficking should be made on the authority of the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre and that the Centre be responsible for any decisions as to whether a proposed entry

relates to drug trafficking (This recommendation is contained in a Confidential Annex to the Report. The annex deals with evidence concerning information and intelligence systems of the Bureau of Customs which the Department of Business and Consumer Affairs requested be kept confidential).

231 As the staff of each Centre will include seconded personnel from outside the administering agency, it is desirable that there should be a Policy Committee set up for the National Criminal Drug

Intelligence Centre and for each State Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre (D42--43).

232 The Uniform Drug Trafficking Act should give wide powers to law enforcement in relation to search warrants, telephone tapping, mail interception, use of electronic surveillance equipment and obtaining information from revenue and foreign exchange authorities. These powers should be exercised by the appropriate Criminal Drug

Intelligence Centre (D43— 44).

233 In each State and the Northern Territory there should be enacted a 'Drugs of Dependence Act'. So far as possible these Acts should be uniform. Under this Act should be gathered the provisions dealing with drugs of dependence (D49).

234 There should be created within each State Health Authority a Drugs of Dependence Unit with primary responsibility for the

administration of the Drugs of Dependence Act (D54).

235 Alcohol and tobacco should, as soon as is practicable after Drug Information Centres are in operation, be brought within their purview (D55).

236 The Commonwealth Drugs of Dependence Act should govern import and export of drugs, manufacture of narcotic drugs and wholesale supply of those drugs covered by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the Convention on Psychotropic Substances to require wholesalers to report their sales of such drugs (D53).

237 In addition the Commonwealth legislation should set up the National Drug Information Centre. The States and Northern Territory legislation should create the State and Northern Territory Drug Information Centres. The Australian Capital Territory should have its own Drugs of Dependence legislation and it would be desirable that this be an A.C.T. Ordinance (D51, D54).

238 A network of Drug Information Centres charged with the

responsibility of collecting, collating and disseminating all drug- related information with the exception of criminal intelligence should be formed. The proposal envisages the establishment of a

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National Drug Information Centre in Canberra with a regional Centre (to be called, for example, the Victorian Drug Information Centre) operating in each State capital city and Darwin (D63).

239 The National Drug Information Centre and each State Centre should be directly answerable to its own Policy Committee comprising appropriate Federal and State government officials (D63).

240 The State Drug Information Centres should regularly report to the National Drug Information Centre to allow for the compilation and dissemination of national data on drug-related matters (D64).

241 The network of Drug Information Centres should be set up under joint Commonwealth/State legislation guaranteeing its independence from any form of direct Departmental control. As recommended above, the Drugs of Dependence Acts (Commonwealth and State) provide such

legislation (D65).

242 A series of Community Drug Liaison Committees should be established at the local level to promote greater awareness of the problems of drug abuse. This would be achieved by collecting, collating, assessing and disseminating relevant material on drug abuse. These committees could be sponsored by local government authorities (D83).

243 The National Strategy on Drug Abuse should be publicly accountable. This can be achieved to a large extent by public dissemination of the regular reports of the Drug Information Centres. It is thought, however, that a more specific examination of the operation of the National Strategy should be undertaken (D87).

244 The general nature of the National Strategy on Drug Abuse should not be the subject of substantial change for a period of at least 10 years. During this period the Strategy will be constantly under review. The Drug Information Centres will be monitoring the working

of the National Strategy. The biennial meetings of Ministers will provide a forum in which discussion of the Strategy and policy considerations occurs; from this may arise necessary variations and modifications (D87--88).

245 At the end of five years from the commencement of operation of the Drug Information Centres there should be some more formal body set up to review the events of the previous five years and to examine the Criminal Drug Intelligence Centres and the Drug Information

Centres. Its task should be to make an interim review proposing only those modifications to the overall strategy which are seen to be essential (D88).

246 At the end of 10 years, a national Royal Commission of Inquiry should be appointed to review the success of the overall national strategy. That Royal Commission of Inquiry should have access to all of the records of this Commission including confidential transcript and exhibits. That Royal Commission should be asked to propose Australia's national policy for the next decade upon drugs of dependence of all kinds (D88).

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