Report Released

Inquiry into the Drugs of Dependence (Personal Use) Amendment Bill 2021 released today – Tuesday 30 November – in the ACT Assembly. It contains 17 recommendations. Full report here

Recommendation 1
The Assembly should pass the Drugs of Dependence (Personal Use) Amendment Bill 2021.
Recommendation 2
The ACT Government should commission an independent evaluation of the provisions enacted
by the Drugs of Dependence (Personal Cannabis Use) Amendment Act 2019 and the enacted
Drugs of Dependence (Personal Use) Amendment Bill 2021.
Recommendation 3
The ACT Government should amend the Bill to include a ‘catch-all’ clause (potentially
acknowledging the Therapeutic Goods Association scheduled prohibited drugs) to include
emerging drug trends.
Recommendation 4
The ACT Government should review the drug possession limits in the Bill to ensure they reflect
the evidence on patterns of consumption for personal use.
Recommendation 5
The ACT Government should provide alternative options to a fine such as attending an
information session on drug harm reduction, a peer support service or alcohol and other drug
treatment, or, in specific situations, to completely waive the fine.
Recommendation 6
The ACT Government should, through ACT Policing, enact a policy to provide information about
treatment services available with a Simple Offence Notice.
Recommendation 7
The ACT Government should significantly increase its investment in alcohol and other drug
Recommendation 8
The ACT Government should continue its commitment to establish and fund an Aboriginal
Community Controlled residential rehabilitation facility and increase the number of First
Nations alcohol and other drugs Peer Support Workers.
Recommendation 9
The ACT Government should invest in housing options for people who use alcohol and other
drugs and are at-risk or experiencing homelessness.
Recommendation 10
The ACT Government should commission a feasibility study into the establishment of a
combined mental health and alcohol and other drug residential facility.
Inquiry into the Drugs of Dependence (Personal Use) Amendment Bill 2021 vii
Recommendation 11
The ACT Government should refresh the Drug and Alcohol Services Planning tool.
Recommendation 12
The ACT Government should fund the alcohol and other drug sector to provide counselling
support to children of their clients.
Recommendation 13
The ACT Government should review current ACT drug education programs and implement an
evidence-informed school drug education program, appropriately funded, for ACT school
students and their teachers.
Recommendation 14
The ACT Government should review current alcohol and other drugs training for frontline health
and emergency services workers and community services providers to ensure best-practice
harm reduction practice.
Recommendation 15
The ACT Government should work collaboratively with the sector and industry experts in a codesign process to expand capacity, address infrastructure constraints and develop new models
of care. Specialised models for consideration include:
• intersection of mental health and alcohol and other drugs services (no wrong door
• specialised methamphetamine services;
• southside peer-based model of care (Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation &
• women’s day detox/rehab program;
• family member support services;
• an alcohol and other drugs Police, Ambulance and Clinical Emergency Response service;
• the We CAN program through Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association to target
smoking amongst injecting drug users;
• continue to support the distribution of naloxone and training in its administration to
people likely to witness an overdose (cf Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation & Advocacy
• trials and research on medicinal drug use (such as ketamine, psilocybin and MDMA) for
treatment of mental health and PTSD issues; and
• trials and research on a Hydromorphone Assisted Treatment program.
viii Inquiry into the Drugs of Dependence (Personal Use) Amendment Bill 2021
Recommendation 16
The ACT Government should revise the ACT Drug Strategy Action Plan. Part of that revision
should include:
• development of a whole-of-government action plan/s;
• an expert advisory committee that includes alcohol and other drugs experts and people
with lived experience;
• engagement with the Commonwealth Government to ensure consistency of ACT and
Commonwealth Law; and
• a provision for a steering group to oversee the implementation of the Amendment Bill.
Recommendation 17
The ACT Government should provide training to ACT Police on the cultural transition to a
decriminalisation model, as well as the practical implications of the implementation of the