The relationships between the MCDS, IGCD and the ANCD are considered difficult and counterproductive, as there is perceived and apparent duplication and confusion about roles and areas of interest.
A survey of respondents in the above evaluation revealed that the most prevalent negative perception (16%) of the governance arrangements in the NDS was "There is tension between ANCD and IGCD.
To explore these issues, I will recount a story about the Australian drug policy arena and the impact of the ANCD during this period.
Given the identified tensions between the ANCD and other parts of the NDS, the introduction of the ANCD can be understood by examining the perception of those involved in the governance of Australian drug policy making.
This paper examines the impacts of the ANCD on the drug policy arena with two specific objectives--to document how the ANCD was received in the drug policy arena and to examine how Australian drug policy makers responded to the introduction of the ANCD.
This paper reports on a detailed analysis of the impact of the introduction of the ANCD on the policy arena.
In the next section of this paper I provide a brief introduction to the Australian drug policy environment and then describe a most important change to the Australian drug policy arena: the introduction of the ANCD.
The four-year feasibility study into the prescription of heroin to opioid-dependent persons conducted by Gabriele Bammer and others (Bammer & Douglas, 1996) at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health had a profound impact on the drug policy community and set the scene for the introduction of the ANCD in 1997.
The first two terms of reference for the ANCD at that time were focused on the National Illicit Drug Strategy (NIDS) and providing advice generally to ministers:
While a number of reasons have been forwarded for the introduction of the council, it is thought that the ANCD was introduced to limit the power of the states/territories to direct the National Illicit Drug Strategy (NIDS) through the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs (IGCD) and the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy (MCDS).