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Sniffer dogs proposed to stamp out Indigenous drug abuse

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 20 August 2003


A Federal Government senator is proposing to use Customs sniffer dogs to help stamp out drug abuse in Aboriginal communities.

The Northern Territory's Country Liberal Party Senator Nigel Scullion wants random checks of planes, trucks and barges heading for Indigenous communities.

Senator Scullion admits some people might regard his proposal as radical.

"This is not an ordinary situation and extraordinary situations take extraordinary solutions," he said.

He says the level of cannabis abuse in particular has reached crisis point in many Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.

"This is binge smoking cannabis. Very, very heavy amounts, very strong cannabis and it's just led to suicides right across the Top End and something just has to be done about that," he said.

Senator Scullion says he already has the approval of the Customs Minister Chris Ellison and he will seek the support of the Northern Territory Government in a meeting with the Police Minister next week.


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