When the New South Wales Government spent an estimated $1.8 billion on the South West Rail Link in Sydney it was criticised as being a waste of taxpayer dollars.
The same Government was accused of being irresponsible and causing cost blow outs when the North West Rail Link was unveiled at an estimated cost of $12.5 billion.
When the Federal Government announced that it was planning on spending $12 billion to buy 58 space-age jet fighters there were many dissenters about the real value we as a nation would receive.
Prime Minister Turnbull announced a major upgrade to the Snowy Hydro with a price tag of “a mere” $2 billion.
However, these figures all take a back seat when we look at the subject of drugs. Australia spends $17 billion each year on illicit drugs (not including alcohol).
To be fair, the figure of $17 billion is a calculation by esteemed illicit drug researcher Dr John Jiggens. He believes our cannibis ‘market place’ is valued at $6 billion with amphetamines at $5 billion and coaching, the next biggest, at $2.5 billion.
With such a secretive market and no paper trail it is difficult to know exactly what the real figure is. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has taken a more conservative line on this subject and it estimates that our nation’s drug users collectively spend $7.1 billion (this was calculated seven years ago).
The ABS estimates cannibis to be $3.8 billion or roughly half of all drug sales…amphetamines at $1.5 billion…followed by cocaine ($783 million), heroin ($750 million) and ecstasy ($300 million).
The ABS went on to estimate that of the $7.1 billion given to drug suppliers they kept $5.8 billion as profit.
Our nation has a secret multi-billion dollar habit which is claiming lives and destroying families. To combat it, in the same time period back in 2010, the Government alllocated $1.1 billion to law enforcement. Is it any wonder that the bad guys are winning!