Police Minister Bob Wiese today warned that police would step up their campaign to prevent the use of drugs at rave parties.
Mr Wiese said the State Government was totally opposed to the use or sale of illegal drugs within the community and the strict controls would be enforced on any rave parties to be held.
"This Government is vehemently anti-drugs and a major priority is to combat this illegal trade that creates such a heavy financial and social burden on society," he said.
Mr Wiese said banning rave parties was not an option because it would only force rave parties to go underground and play into the hands of the drug pushers.
"We must keep these events out in the open where the most effective action can be taken to curb the use of illicit drugs," he said.
"Police have been able to maintain a high profile enforcement role because of the controls that have been put in place and without those regulated guidelines their task would be far more difficult.
"The strong police control was illustrated near a recent rave party where police charged 44 people over drug offences and were able to intercept a large quantity of ecstasy at the airport.
"This would not have happened without the current regulations."
Mr Wiese said Western Australia was the only State in Australia which had tackled the problem head-on following a series of unregulated rave parties during 1992-93.
Prior to the introduction of controls rave parties had posed a number of dangers and threats to those people who took part, not only through illicit drugs, but also being held in unsafe buildings, inadequate crowd control, unsanitary conditions and unacceptable noise levels.
The guidelines, which were developed by the Health Department, police and Environmental Protection Authority in conjunction with local government authorities, ensure better security and safer environment, proper medical facilities, adequate transport to assist people leave the event and prevent ‘fly-by-night' promoters.
"This Government does not condone illicit drug sale or usage at rave parties and the guidelines are in place to help minimise that threat through better supervision and security."
Mr Wiese said seven rave parties had been held since the guidelines had been introduced and they had all been conducted safely.
"In this way we have effectively brought this problem under more control and contained a situation which was out of control.
"This positive approach adopted by Government has ensured that rave parties in WA are far safer for young people than in any other State."
Media contact: Mark Thompson 222 9595 or 322 2311