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WA Libs promise jail time for meth dealers

The West Australian opposition will introduce Australia’s toughest penalties for meth dealers, with some facing at least 15 years behind bars, if it wins the March state election.

Liberal Leader Zak Kirkup unveiled the new punishment regime on Sunday, describing it as necessary to send a strong message to drug dealers.

Premier Mark McGowan said WA had already significantly cut methamphetamine use across the state, but Mr Kirkup said dealers needed a stronger deterrent.

“Bringing in Australia’s toughest mandatory minimum sentences for meth dealers will make sure that these criminals are taken off our streets and spend more time in prison,” Mr Kirkup said.

“West Australians are sick and tired of seeing meth dealers getting arrested by police and then returning back to their evil ways within days or weeks of the arrest.

“These dealers are destroying the lives of West Australians.”

Under the Liberal proposal, a range of mandatory minimum sentences will apply depending on the amount of drugs seized.

A jail term of at least one year will be imposed for up to 10 grams of methamphetamine, with penalties then increasing to a high of at least 15 years behind bars for more than 200 grams of the drug.

Mr Kirkup said police were fighting a losing battle when the very same dealers they arrested returned to the streets and back to dealing meth, continuing to destroy the lives of so many people.

“By introducing these tough new mandatory minimum sentences, we hope that many would-be meth dealers will be deterred from pursuing this life of crime and will consider doing something more productive with their lives.

“For those meth dealers that don’t change their ways, we are sending a very clear and powerful message – you will face a very long time in jail.”

But the premier said WA already had the toughest measures in the country, which had helped tackle the drug problem.

“We’ve seen a 60 per cent reduction in meth usage. Our measures have broken the supply chain,” Mr McGowan said.

West Australians go to the polls on March 13.

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