Victoria wastewater drug monitoring findings

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission has today released the second report of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program, revealing cocaine consumption in Victoria increased from August 2016 to February 2017, but methylamphetamine and MDMA consumption was generally beneath the national average.

Minister for Justice, the Hon. Michael Keenan MP launched the report alongside Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chris Dawson APM, in Perth.

“While cocaine consumption in Australia remains mostly centred in New South Wales, findings of the second report show potential emerging trends, which will develop over the life of the program,” Mr Dawson said.

“Cocaine remains in demand in Australia, with the Illicit Drug Data Report 2015–16 revealing a record 2,777 cocaine detections at the Australian border, a record 3,951 national cocaine seizures, and the weight of cocaine seized nationally increasing for the second consecutive reporting period. Increases were also reported in Victoria, with the number of cocaine seizures and arrests and the weight of cocaine seized increasing in 2015–16.

“We already know that serious and organised crime groups are thriving on the profits generated through the illicit drug trade.

“Given the transnational nature of serious and organised crime, our relationships with national and international partners are more important than ever before, as we work together to target illicit drug importation, production and distribution.

“The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission is committed to working with its partners to understand Australia’s drug market, disrupt criminal activity, and reduce the supply and demand of illicit drugs in this country.”

For the second report, 37 wastewater treatment plants across Australia participated in the collection of wastewater samples covering thirteen substances. There were five sites tested in Victoria, with samples collected in October and December 2016, and February 2017.

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission received $3.6 million over three years from Proceeds of Crime funding for the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program and has commissioned the University of Queensland and the University of South Australia to undertake the program and prepare the research reports containing its findings.

The report is available from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission website.