The NSW Government launched the State Budget on the 19th, and there was a big thing missing- the drug summit.
Professor Dan Howard, leader of the Ice Inquiry, said that “It is astonishing that there is nothing in this budget for a drug summit, as this has long been a promised part of Labor’s platform.”
“The hardworking clinicians and NGOs that keep this sector afloat by their sheer devotion to their task, and especially those who struggle to access services, will be very disappointed and troubled by this omission, which can only mean further harmful delays and a shameful continuation of the longstanding drug policy vacuum in NSW.”
“The government’s apparent paralysis and refusal to move forward on this issue is stigmatising and traumatising to those who have been waiting so long for help and reform.”
Ahead of the budget, the Drug Summit had been promised to be allocated 1.8m funding and occur before the end of the financial year, but there is a noticeable absence of any reference to the event. Two senior government sources stated to the Sydney Morning Herald that the summit would go ahead early next year, though no formal word has been given.
General Manager of Media and Advocacy at Uniting NSW.ACT Emma Maiden, urged the Premier once again to call the summit as an opportunity for real and meaningful reform.
“The people who are experiencing drug dependency and their families can’t afford to wait years for meaningful policy reform and change – the need is now and it’s urgent,” she said.
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