The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
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David Bradbury

Assistant Treasurer, Minister Assisting for Financial Services & Superannuation and Minister for Competition Policy & Consumer Affairs

5 March 2012 - 18 September 2013

Media Release of 16/06/2013

NO.108

National ban for synthetic drugs

The Federal Government will put in place a national interim ban on a range of dangerous synthetic drugs under its product safety laws, said Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury.

The ban, to be instituted under the Australian Consumer Law, will prohibit the sale and supply of 19 synthetic drugs for up to 120 days.

The interim ban will give State and Territory health and law enforcement agencies time to update their drug enforcement laws to comprehensively outlaw these synthetic drugs.

The Federal Government has already taken strong steps to prohibit synthetic drugs, including listing a wide range of these substances on the Therapeutic Goods Administrations' poisons standard. While most States and Territories have already adopted these standards and made possession and use of these substances illegal through their drug enforcement laws, some States and Territories have yet to adopt these standards into their drugs laws, meaning synthetic drugs have been able to be legally sold and used.

The interim national ban will stop the sale nationally of the 19 listed products and help to cover gaps in the laws of some States and Territories.

"Synthetic drugs are dangerous substances that can kill and should not be available for sale," said Mr David Bradbury. "Product safety laws can help to quickly stop the sale of known brands of synthetic drugs, but more needs to be done.

"The synthetic drugs market is fast-moving and suppliers have shown they are willing to change brand names and packaging to get around bans made under consumer laws.

"The public do not expect fair trading officials to be policing the trade in illicit drugs. These synthetic substances are dangerous drugs that should be made illegal by all States and Territories and policed by law enforcement agencies, just like other illicit drugs, with appropriate criminal penalties.

"I call on the State and Territory Governments to conduct an urgent review of their drug laws to make sure that these synthetic drugs are not falling through the cracks."

16 June 2013