The Liberal National Government has again cemented its tough on crime credentials by introducing legislation into State Parliament today which will help disrupt the supply of methamphetamine into Western Australia.
Deputy Premier and Police Minister Liza Harvey said the new laws would make it easier for WA Police to target and detect meth being distributed through the State's regional road network and postage system.
Mrs Harvey said under the proposed laws, a road suspected of being a drug transit route could be declared a search area for a limited time by a senior police officer, allowing police to search any vehicle travelling through it.
"Meth is rarely manufactured in Western Australia since this Government cracked down on backyard laboratories. However, we believe an amount of meth and other drugs are being transported through WA undetected because WA Police must build a case of reasonable suspicion for every individual vehicle before they can search them," she said.
"The new laws mean police have to have a reasonable suspicion the road network, such as interstate border crossings or roads into remote communities, are being used by drug traffickers."
The Minister said the legislation also targeted freight and courier distribution facilities.
"A senior officer will be able to authorise the search of a freight or courier distribution facility for a maximum period of 24 hours. However, officers could only open individual packages once they have a reasonable suspicion drugs have been detected in them," she said.
Mrs Harvey said the Government had consulted with major freight and courier companies, who strongly supported the legislation.
"The initial searches on vehicles and freight facilities could include officers, drug detection dogs and electronic equipment. If these methods result in a reasonable suspicion drugs that are present, further searches, such as opening packaging, could then occur," she said.
"Meth is ruining lives and putting significant pressure on public services and the Liberal National Government has committed to giving police the resources they need to help combat this insidious drug."
Deputy Premier and Police Minister's office - 6552 5900