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Dealing with Drugs

The Australia21 report, ‘Can Australia respond to drugs more effectively and safely?’, released in March of this year, argues that it’s time to bring an end to the costly, unavailing campaign of criminalising drug users – and to instead adopt a wide approach to harm reduction.

The report’s 13 key recommendations are groundbreaking, and drawn from conversations between people with legal, law enforcement, prison, public health and policy backgrounds. Drug users and their families have endorsed it. So, how have the recommendations been received? And what hope is there for true policy reform? 

Alongside former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett, Australia21’s report was launched by former Australian foreign minister and former NSW premier Bob Carr – who joins Fifth Estate host Sally Warhaft for a discussion of the so-called war on drugs, and the push for decriminalisation in Australia today.

Who?

Portrait of Bob Carr

Bob Carr

Bob Carr is a former premier of New South Wales and a former senator, serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs from March 2012 to September 2013.

Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.

Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.

The Fifth Estate

For in-depth insider analysis of current affairs, it doesn't get any better than The Fifth Estate. 

This long-running series is a mainstay of the Wheeler Centre’s programme, and of public conversation in Melbourne. Twice a month, our in-house news anchor Sally Warhaft hosts guests from the world of politics, culture, journalism and international relations to dissect pressing questions of policy, power and public affairs. It's free, it's fortnightly and it's a chance to give complex local and global issues the thoughtful discussion they deserve.

Guests are announced in the weeks prior to events, so keep an eye on our website (or the Wheeler Weekly newsletter) for updates. Subscribe to the popular Fifth Estate podcast – or book a (free) ticket – for expert analysis on today's key debates.

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