Interagency Working Group on Drugs - Annual Report 2014-2015

Printable version of the Interagency Working Group on Drugs Annual Report 2014-2015

Message from the Chair

I am pleased to present the Interagency Working Group on Drugs (IAWGD) Annual Report for the 2014-2015 reporting period.

The IAWGD continues to coordinate the implementation of the Tasmanian Drug Strategy 2013-2018 (TDS) - the overarching framework for coordinated effort to prevent or reduce the harmful effects of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use in Tasmania.  In addition, it also continues to oversee a range of policies and programs that deal with the harms associated with the misuse of licit and illicit drugs in the State.

During this reporting period, there has been increased focus in Tasmania and nationally on the use of crystal methamphetamine (Ice).  The IAWGD has via its representatives and coordinated through the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPAC), reviewed and provided comment on material from the National Ice Taskforce in relation to its Final Report and development of a National Ice Action Strategy.

The IAWGD completed the Tasmanian Alcohol Action Framework (TAAF) 2014 Report and 2015-2016 Implementation Plan, which will be the last under the current TAAF with the IAWGD having requested and been approved an extension of the TAAF until the end of 2016, during which time a review will be undertaken. The Report and final Implementation Plan highlight the activities of Government agencies, community sector organisations and other interested key stakeholders in addressing alcohol-related harms in Tasmania.    

In 2014, the Tobacco Action Plan 2011-2015 Year 4 Report was released, highlighting the significant progress made towards reducing the prevalence of smoking in Tasmania. The introduction of smoke-free prisons and correctional facilities in Tasmania in February 2015 was a key achievement under the Plan.

Other significant activities undertaken by the IAWGD this year include input into the review of the Liquor Licensing Act 1990; drafting of the Illicit Drug Action Plan; input into the response to the use of medicinal cannabis in Tasmania; and the development and the launch of the alcohol, tobacco and other sector Implementation Plan under Everybody's Business the Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention Strategic Framework.

During the reporting period, the IAWGD reviewed and updated its Terms of Reference to reflect the position that it needs to maintain a strategic focus, especially in light of the role it will undertake in coordinating Tasmania's involvement in and response to the work of the National Ice Taskforce.

We are particularly indebted to and thank Dr Roscoe Taylor for his outstanding chairing of the IAWGD over the last two years, and also acknowledge the contributions of departing members Mr Nick Goddard, Mr Robert Williams and Mr Adrian Christian.

Tasmania still faces many challenges to continue to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; however I am confident that the achievements reported for the past 12 months provide a strong foundation on which to continue to make inroads in the future.

David Nicholson
Chair – Interagency Working Group on Drugs