HEROIN PARTICIPATION PROGRAM
The Hon. R. S. L. JONES: I ask the Attorney General, representing the Minister for Police, is he aware that on Stateline on 5 May, in response to a rise in recorded crime, the Director of the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Dr Don Weatherburn, said that "we should certainly look at the Canberra heroin trial and see whether it is possible to entice people out of the illegal drug market and on to a participation program for heroin"? Is the Minister aware that the huge increase in home break-ins and robberies is a direct result of prohibition? Will the Minister urge the Premier to actively support the Australian Capital Territory heroin trial following the hugely successful Swiss trial based on the same protocols and consider such a trial in New South Wales in order to address the cause of crime at its root?
The Hon. J. W. SHAW: The data suggesting a strong link between drugs and criminal activity is formidable evidence of that proposition. The honourable member raised, in particular, the question of the Australian Capital Territory trial. It is essentially for the Minister for Health to deal with the matter at meetings of State Ministers for health. I have had discussions with my colleague Dr Refshauge about that, though I am not in a position to give the Government’s view about that trial. However, I assure the honourable member that I retain an active interest in the matter and that the Government is considering its position.