New Senate report proposes rethink on Australia’s drug budget

6 Jun 2024

In January 2023, Turning Point and MARC made a submission to the federal Inquiry into the challenges and opportunities for law enforcement in addressing Australia’s illicit drug problem.

Law Enforcement

Last month the Australian Parliament's Joint Committee on Law Enforcement released its report following up from the inquiry. It makes several recommendations, including that the Australian Government undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the National Drug Strategy 2017–2026. As part of this evaluation, the committee recommended a review of the current resourcing for the three pillars of the Strategy, and that if the funding disparities are substantial, that consideration should be given to increasing funding for treatment and harm reduction.

Turning Point welcomes this and other recommendations in the report, and looks forward to the Federal Government’s response. We also note the timely release of a recent report by the University of New South Wales’ Drug Policy Modelling Program that found law enforcement continued to consume almost two thirds of the total Australian drug budget in 2021/22, with prevention, treatment and harm reduction accounting for little more than a third.

Read the Senate Committee’s report.

Read Turning Point and MARC’s submission.

Read the UNSW’s Australian drug budget report.