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Ice Inquiry Response: Cowardly Move to Delay Drug Diversion Scheme to after the Election

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
21 September 2022

It’s unacceptable that a pre-court drug diversionary program won’t be implemented until after the election after the community has had to wait two years and eight months for the Government to substantially respond to the Ice Inquiry, says Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP and drug law reform and harm reduction spokesperson. 

The NSW Government’s response to the ice inquiry (p.8) states “By 30 June 2023, the NSW Chief Health Officer and NSW Police Commissioner will jointly provide advice to the Government on whether the roll out of services and supports under the Government’s commitments is sufficiently advanced to allow commencement of a pre-court diversion scheme. The Government will then make a final decision regarding implementation of the pre-court diversion scheme.” 

“It’s a cowardly move by the Government that after delaying their response for nearly 3 years they are now delaying any program to divert people from the courts and remove criminal penalties for drug use until after the election,” said Ms Faehrmann. 

“The Government should have committed to a $500 million spend to implement these important recommendations soon after Commissioner Dan Howard handed down his report. While a significant boost in treatment and rehabilitation programs is welcome, this could have started years ago.

“The Government and the Parliament could look very different after the election. The Premier must know that he’s putting any pre-court diversion program at risk by kicking the can down the road until after the election.

“It’s disappointing that the Government has not accepted the recommendations of both the Ice and Music-Festival Related Deaths Inquiries to introduce pill testing and get rid of drug dogs.

“Unfortunately the Premier and his Ministers have been too cowardly to introduce the measures that the experts say will work during this term of government. Every day that we continue to send people to the courts or to jail because of using drugs we cause more harm and prevent people who need treatment from getting it.  ,” said Cate Faehrmann. 

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
21 September 2022
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