A New Governance Structure for Drugs and Alcohol Policy in Victoria.

Preamble:

In 2018 Increasing public awareness of the limitations of existing approaches to alcohol and drugs policy prompted a wholesale re-examination of all laws and regulations relating to drug law by the Victorian Parliament.

The Inquiry into Drug Law Reform conducted by the Law Reform, Road and Community Safety Committee of the Victorian Parliament last year outlined a number of key recommendations in relation to this critical public health issue.

The Inquiry chiefly recommended the implementation of a new governance structure in relation to drugs and alcohol to ensure that best practice is reflected in all future Victorian State Government approaches to this area of public policy making.

The Governance structure outlined in recommendation three of the Law Reform, Road and Community Safety Committee’s 2018 inquiry focused on the establishment of both:

a) A Ministerial Council comprising all relevant Government Ministers with responsibility to drugs and alcohol including the portfolios of Health, Corrections, Mental health, Police, Education, Early Childhood Education, Road Safety and Multicultural Affairs.

and

b) An external Ministerial Advisory Council of key stakeholders and experts to counsel the Victorian Government on drugs and alcohol policy that will additionally include current users, recovering users and affected families[1].

The implementation of the governance structure outlined above will effectively ensure that the Victorian Government’s approach to drug policy is based on effective and humane responses that prioritise health and safety outcomes and be in accordance with the United Nations’ drug control conventions.

Platform:

Labor for Drug Law Reform emphasises the limitations of existing regulatory approaches to drugs and alcohol throughout Australia.

Labor for Drug Law Reform acknowledges the necessity of evidence-based policy in ensuring that the Victorian Governments approach to drugs and alcohol is predicated on effective and humane responses that prioritise health and safety outcomes.

Action:

Labor for Drug Reform calls on the Andrews Labor Government to fully implement the governance structure to drugs and alcohol recommended by the 2018 Inquiry into Drug Law Reform conducted by the Law Reform, Road and Community Safety Committee of the Victorian Parliament as soon as practically possible.


[1] https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/committees/lrrcsc/Drugs_/Report/LRRCSC_58-03_Full_Report_Text.pdf

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