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Government playing 'catch-up' on P

Tony Ryall
National Police Spokesman
17 May 2004

Government playing 'catch-up' on P

The Government is playing catch-up with its methamphetamine initiatives, says National MP Tony Ryall.

Today in a pre Budget announcement the Government allocated an extra $39 million over the next four years to tackle the methamphetamine trade. Mr Ryall says National has been telling this Government for over two years to do these things. Since that time, the P epidemic has got much worse with many more victims and addicts.

"It will take quite some time for any of these measures to start having an effect. Ministers have taken far too long to realise how rife this drug has become.

"The key tool for smashing the gangs is to toughen up the Proceeds of Crime Act. Mr Goff says it will be in place before the end of the year. At this rate it won't be, and that's an unwarranted Christmas present for the drug dealing gangs.

"The extra money for Environmental Science and Research won't make much of an immediate dent in testing delays of up to two years. It is now time for the Government to consider contracting some of this work to private labs, and maybe sending samples for testing to overseas laboratories. The delays are that serious.

"National is also concerned at early reports of more non-gang associates manufacturing methamphetamine. People can use the internet to learn to make this stuff within a week. The Government taking two years to realise the scale of the epidemic doesn't help," says Mr Ryall.

ENDS

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