Talk to us

CathNews, the most frequently visited Catholic website in Australia, is your daily news service featuring Catholics and Catholicism from home and around the world, Mass on Demand and on line, prayer, meditation, reflections, opinion, and reviews. And, what's more - it's free!

Chris Minns and Fr Peter Smith (Facebook/Chris Minns and Sydney Justice and Peace Office)

Faith leaders have urged the New South Wales Government to accelerate drug reform and relax laws to avoid “needless” and “disastrous” interactions with the criminal justice system as a promised drug summit remains dateless. Source: The Australian.

In a letter to Premier Chris Minns, leaders from the Jewish, Anglican, Catholic, Uniting and Muslim faiths also urged the Government to move quicker and be more transparent on its promised drug summit.

“As leaders of faith in our communities, we see the impact of drug dependency on individuals and their families,” the letter read.

“We also see the impact of criminalisation and stigma and the pain this causes.”

The letter was signed by the Reverend Mata Havea Hiliau of the Uniting Church; Rabbi Mendel Kastel; Fr Peter Smith of Sydney’s Catholic Archdiocese; the Reverend Peter Stuart, bishop of the Anglican Newcastle diocese; Major Kim Haworth of The Salvation Army; and Abbas Raza Alvi, president of the Indian Crescent Society, which represents Indian Muslims.

“Let us work towards policies that reflect the values of our faiths and contribute to the wellbeing of all members of our society,” the letter read.

Labor in 2019 committed to holding a summit, which predated an ice inquiry commissioned by former premier Gladys Berejiklian, and recommended the decriminalisation of illicit drugs.

Fr Smith said the issue was of “paramount importance” and a failure to act on drug dependency had come with an “enormous cost”.

Health Minister Ryan Park said an announcement would come in “due course”.


Faith leaders urge action on drug reform (By Alex Demetriadi, The Australian)