Brisbane hosts national

In December last year, Brisbane City Council hosted what it believed to be the first national drugs debate in Australia. International and national drug experts were among the 350 delegates gathered in Brisbane on 4-5 December, to examine the role of Local Government in responding to the drugs crisis. The event was jointly hosted by the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors (CCCLM) and Brisbane City Council. Brisbane hosted the event to encourage more understanding of the very real drug problems within the Australian community.

Council believes that there is a growing awareness that the war on drugs has failed and that Local Government has an important role to play in responding to the drug problem in local communities.

“For far too long in Australia, as elsewhere in the world, illicit drug policy has been the victim of political posturing and expediency,” said Lord Mayor Jim Soorley. “Politicians and political parties have shown little leadership on the issue for fear of being perceived as ‘soft on drugs’.

“There is a growing awareness that the war on drugs has failed and that a shift towards treatment and rehabilitation in drug policy is essential to reduce the harm experienced in the community. Local Government has an important role in responding to the drug problem in local communities.”

Key issues discussed at the Conference ranged from security enforcement and syringe clean up, to rehabilitation, crime, unemployment and drug education.

“There is a need for sensible State and Federal levels to ensure communities take charge of the drugs agenda,” Councillor Soorley said “Drugs are killing kids, and killing people.”