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Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug Ice Private Member's Statement

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
27 February 2020

Ms CATE FAEHRMANN (15:09:59): I have before me a very important report that the Government has just released. It is the report of the special commission of inquiry into crystal methamphetamine and other amphetamine-type stimulants, or ice, which Special Commissioner Dan Howard, SC, has been inquiring into for the past 14 months at the request of Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

We were going to debate the report this afternoon., I understand the motion was going to pass and, in fact, the report was going to have to be released on Monday. I welcome the Premier recognising that and releasing the report today. The 1,400-page report contains excellent recommendations around how to deal with drug harm in New South Wales; unfortunately, the State Government has already come out with a measly three-page response. The foreword to the inquiry's report says:

This Inquiry has been able to make informed recommendations based on evidence of great integrity, gathered from the sworn testimony of witnesses in public and private hearings, from public and private submissions, from roundtable hearings, from requests for information issued to government agencies and other groups and bodies, and from enforceable summonses to produce documents and to provide evidence.

Some of the recommendations are what the Government feared and did not want to listen to, including that the it should introduce drug-checking services, which is also what the Deputy State Coroner found last year when she looked into music festival deaths. The commissioner has found, based on all of the evidence, that the Government needs to introduce a system of decriminalisation if it is going to stop drug deaths in New South Wales. The report also found that the Government needs to stop the system that we have of harassing people at music festivals and public transport stations with drug-detection dogs. Instead, in its three-page response the Government says:

The Government has consistently stated its position on a number of matters, set out below, and this will not change.

That is despite the fact that Premier Gladys Berejiklian asked a commissioner, Professor Dan Howard, to look into drugs and make recommendations about how to stop people from dying from amphetamine-type stimulants. We have the worst rate of dependence in the world, the numbers of deaths are increasing and the Premier has issued a statement saying that she will not take on board the key recommendations. Shame.

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
27 February 2020
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