A record 809 clandestine laboratories were detected around Australia in 2011-2012 according to a report released last week by the Australian Crime Commission (ACC).
Queensland once again reported the highest number of labs, with 379 detected. Western Australia reported the second highest mumber of incidents with 160 labs detected. The majority of labs found in these areas (90%) were addict based.
By comparison, 50% of the 90 clan labs detected in NSW were categorised as medium to industrial scale laboratories.
Of particular note is the detection of 15 clan labs in Tasmania, a figure which has risen from 1 just two years ago.
Of all the states and territories, South Australia was the only region to experience a decline, with only 58 labs being detected in 2011-2012, as opposed to 75 recorded in the previous year.
So what does this information mean to you?
Depending on the role you play in this issue and the area in which you work, this data will mean different things for different people.
For meth lab cleanup technicians working in NSW who have the potential to get jobs that were classified as ‘medium to industrial’, it may mean that you need to reassess your risk assessment procedure. For general cleaners, it may mean that you need to learn to understand the signs of a meth lab, in line with the information that the majority of labs were found in regular residential areas.
Whether you’re a property manager, environmental health officer, occupational hygienist, or cleaner, we recommend you take a look at the report and make note of what is happening in your area and how it may affect you. If nothing else, the regular annual release of this report should be used as a reminder to reassess your work policies and procedures when dealing with meth lab jobs.
The Illicit Drug Data Report is an annual publication released by the Australian Crime Commission.