Community Safety

Joint Media Release | Labor Goes Cop-less on Vaping Law Enforcement | 05 July 2024

July 5, 2024

5 July 2024
Joint Media Release
Labor Goes Cop-less on Vaping Law Enforcement

The Albanese Labor Government’s chaotic vaping legislation has already unravelled, only 8 days after it passed the Parliament.

Speaking to Triple J yesterday on how the Government plans to enforce their vaping laws, the Health Minister Mark Butler has astoundingly admitted, “we are not going to use the police.”

At the same time, it’s been reported that state and territory authorities are locked into a confused stand off on who is allowed to be enforcing the new laws.

Right now, kids are being targeted by a thriving and dangerous black market.

Under Labor, communities are also being put at risk by a spate of fire-bombings and extortion tactics targeting tobacco retailers.

But the Albanese Government has now made it undeniably clear that they are not up to the job of cracking down on these criminals and protecting children from the harms of vaping.

Shadow Minister for Health and Aged Care, Anne Ruston said, “we were already concerned that the Government’s ill-considered approach to vaping will force more Australians towards the black market. Their last-minute, unworkable deal with the Greens will see vapes sold by unwilling pharmacists. It has doubled Australia down into a prohibition-style approach, which history tells us does not work.

‘But now, I am absolutely horrified at the explosion of organised crime that could occur under Labor’s watch as they publicly admit police will not be enforcing their vaping laws.

“If you’re serious about protecting kids from vaping, you have to be serious about enforcement. Clearly, the Health Minister has admitted he is not serious,” Senator Ruston said.

Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, James Paterson said, “Labor has clearly given up on tackling the illegal tobacco and illegal vaping markets.

“How can we expect the Government to protect communities and our children when they openly state they will not be using one of the most crucial tools at their disposal, the police, to stamp out this illicit black market trade and combat the increasing related violence we are seeing on our streets?”

A Coalition Government will introduce a regulated vaping model to crack down on crime and keep vapes out of the hands of Australian children. Under this approach, we will provide 10 times more funding towards law enforcement than Labor through a $250 million law enforcement package.

This funding will be used to stand up an illegal tobacco and vaping taskforce led by the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Border Force to tackle illegal vapes from the border to the shopfront.

The Coalition will provide desperately needed Commonwealth leadership to crack down on organised criminal activity and protect Australian children.


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