Milestone in the fight against the Illegal Drug Trade

Media release
29 Jun 2017
Prime Minister, Minister for Justice
Health and Social Services

The Turnbull Government has published new figures revealing authorities are succeeding in their efforts to crack down on the illegal methamphetamine trade.

Australia’s law enforcement agencies have prevented more than 12 tonnes of methamphetamine, including ice from hitting our streets since 2013.

The biggest haul has been seized in New South Wales, followed by Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland.

The figures confirm the Turnbull Government’s targeted investments and initiatives are putting a major dent in the scourge of ice in Australia.

The Coalition Government is tackling the supply of ice through increased international cooperation, enhanced intelligence sharing, better controls of precursor chemicals and greater law enforcement efforts to prevent ice reaching our shores.

The Government has:

  • Established Taskforce Blaze – a joint agency taskforce between the Australian Federal Police and the Chinese National Narcotics Control Commission focussed on investigating organised criminal syndicates responsible for the exportation of ice and other illicit drugs to Australia.  This is the first ever joint agency taskforce of its kind. Australian and Chinese authorities have intercepted more than 10 tonnes of illicit drugs in the past 18 months.
  • Invested $116 million to establish National Anti-Gangs Squad strike teams. The teams have now been rolled out in NSW, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia with liaison officers in other jurisdictions. The Squads’ work has resulted in the seizure of $5.6 million in cash and illegal drugs – including more than 170 kilograms of ice.
  • Invested $3.6 million from the proceeds of crime to the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission to collect data as part of the first ever National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Report, following a recommendation by the National Ice Taskforce.  This report assists our agencies to detect ice hotspots, and pinpoint targets to flush out the crooks responsible for this evil trade and protect the communities they are targeting. The report has confirmed that ice is the most highly consumed illicit drug of those tested in all regions of Australia.
  • Established the $1 million ‘Dob in a Dealer’ campaign to encourage the public to report information on drug manufacture and distribution in their community.

Proportionally, Australia uses more ice than almost any other country in the world. Conservative estimates suggest that there are well over 200,000 ice users in Australia.

These figures drive home the message that we cannot simply arrest our way out of this problem – we must tackle the demand for illicit drugs in Australia.

The Coalition Government is investing almost $300 million to support actions resulting from the National Ice Action Strategy to improve treatment, after care, education, prevention and community engagement.

Conservative estimates suggest that there are well over 200,000 ice users in Australia.

The Coalition Government has taken the lead in taking a national approach to deal with Australia’s methamphetamine problem.

Make no mistake; the Coalition Government will use every weapon in our arsenal to break the business models of serious and organised crime gangs that thrive on the evil profits of ice and other drugs.