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Tough on drugs policy strengthened: so where does the Labor/Greens alliance stand?

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Tough on drugs policy strengthened - So where does the Labor/Greens Alliance stand?

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

The Coalition will address the problem of welfare payments being used to buy illicit drugs by quarantining and managing 100 per cent of welfare payments to people convicted of criminal drug offences involving hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine and amphetamines.

Deputy Prime Minister & Member for Lyne, Mark Vaile said the measure would ensure that 6,000 convicted drug criminals cannot spend taxpayers’ money on illicit drugs.

A re-elected Coalition Government will also extend eligibility for Job Capacity Account services from the current maximum of 13 weeks to up to 26 weeks for people who need a longer period of support to overcome barriers to work due to substance abuse.

“We will also work with the states and territories to ensure drug laws are consistent. A national standard will be introduced relating to the quantities involved in the trafficking and possession of illicit drugs and nationally consistent penalties for illicit drug offences,” Mr Vaile said.

“We expect that the states and territories will also adopt these national standards.”

“The Coalition Government is proud to stand by its record in the fight against dangerous illicit drugs such as heroin, cocaine and amphetamines,” Mr Vaile said.

“The Coalition’s Tough On Drugs initiative tackles drug abuse at all levels, with measures designed to halt supply, reduce demand and assist people with drug abuse problems into treatment.”

Mr Vaile said with funding since its introduction in 1997 of $1.6 billion, Tough on Drugs represents the greatest investment in the fight against illicit drugs in Australian history.

“I call on Labor to release its policy on combating drug abuse as their public statements to date have focused on soft approaches like drug injecting rooms,” Mr Vaile.

“Given their sweetheart preference deal with the Greens, we can only assume that they have most probably done a deal which involves adopting the Greens soft policy on drugs,” he added.

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