Media Release

19 January 2017

Pesutto: Daniel Andrews responsible for flagrant drug use in the city

Thursday 19 January 2017
Daniel Andrews responsible for flagrant drug use in the city
Despite desperate attempts by the Andrews Government to deny responsibility for leaving police without important powers to move people on in light of blatant drug dealing and use on Flinders Street and across our City, the facts clearly show otherwise.
In one of his first, and worst, decisions as Premier, these are the “move-on” grounds that police would have been able to use, but which Daniel Andrews removed from the Summary Offences Act:
• the person is or persons are causing, or likely to cause, an undue obstruction to another person or persons or traffic; or
• the person is or persons are present for the purpose of unlawfully procuring or supplying, or intending to unlawfully procure or supply, a drug of dependence within the meaning of section 4 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981; or
• the person is or persons are impeding or attempting to impede another person from lawfully entering or leaving premises or part of premises; or
• the conduct of the person or persons is causing a reasonable apprehension of violence in another person; or
• the person has or persons have committed, within the last 12 hours, an offence in the public place.
These grounds were introduced by the Coalition Government in 2014.
The three move-on grounds that Daniel Andrews decided to keep are much harder for police to rely upon because they are more limited. They are:
• the person is or persons are breaching, or likely to breach, the peace; or
• the person is or persons are endangering, or likely to endanger, the safety of any other person; or
• the behaviour of the person or persons is likely to cause injury to a person or damage to property or is otherwise a risk to public safety.
As a direct consequence of the Andrews Government’s soft approach, police have no power to move people on outside of very limited grounds.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Attorney-General John Pesutto
“The flagrant dealing and use of drugs in front of families, workers, and tourists in Melbourne is a direct consequence of Daniel Andrews soft approach to law and order”
“Daniel Andrews removed important and sensible police powers to manage these situations. As a consequence, and at a time when the eyes of the world are on our city, Melbourne’s well–earned reputation as the most liveable place in the world is being trashed.
We are a compassionate and generous community, but this situation must be fixed and the buck stops with Daniel Andrews.”