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The drug supply prohibition order applies in NSW and gives
police extensive search powers targeting convicted drug dealers,
allowing police to search the person, and his or her vehicle and
home. It only applies if the drug supply prohibition order is in
force against a person in any of the four locations, namely
Bankstown, Dubbo, Hunter Valley and Coffs Harbour.
For tailored advice on a drug charge, speak to an
drug lawyer in Sydney today.
The NSW Government has commenced a pilot scheme enabling the
enforcement of extensive search powers targeting convicted drug
dealers, two years after the legislation passed parliament.
The ‘Drug Supply Prohibition Order Pilot Scheme’ will be
a two-year pilot program in four locations: Bankstown, Dubbo,
Hunter Valley, and Coffs Harbour.
Whilst the legislation was originally passed by parliament in
November 2020, the scheme was only recently launched in May
Whilst Labor criticised the government for their slow enactment
of the laws, Police Minister Paul Toole asserted that the
“complex” scheme had come about “very
The extensive powers enable police officers to conduct searches
of convicted drug dealers, as well as their residence and vehicles,
at any time.
The scheme faced fierce criticism from the New South Wales Law
Society, the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, and the Greens when
the bill was originally proposed.
“Imposing these oppressive law-and-order regimes on the
community is like constantly patching up a hole. We do not change
community behaviour or solve the challenges that create drug
addictions and drive people to have addictions by increasing
excessive and oppressive police powers.” commented
Jenny Leong, Greens MP.
The Government has stated that it expects the scheme to have a
“disruptive and deterrent effect on drug supply and
WHAT IS A DRUG SUPPLY PROHIBITION ORDER?
What is a drug supply prohibition order? Pursuant to the
section 4 of the Drug Supply Prohibition Order Pilot
Act 2020(NSW), if a drug supply prohibition
order is in force against a person, a police officer may without a
- stop, detain, and search the person,
- enter and search a dwelling at which the person resides,
- enter and search a premises that the police officer reasonably
suspects are owned by the person, under their direct control or
management, or are being used by the person for an unlawful purpose
involving the manufacture or supply of a prohibited drug.
- stop, detain, and search a vehicle being driven by or otherwise
under the control or management of the person or occupied by the
- stop, detain, and search a vehicle parked on an area that is
part of, or provided for the use of, searchable premises, but not
if the area is shared with another dwelling or premises.
Officers will also be able to stop, detain, and search a vehicle
parked on an area that is part of a searchable premises, even if
the area is shared, if they reasonably suspect that the vehicle is
being used by the person in relation to the manufacture or supply
of a prohibited drug.
Officers will only be able to exercise these powers in a pilot
scheme area or an area that the police officer reasonably believes
to be in a pilot scheme area.
The exercise of the power will also have to be reasonably
required to decide whether the person is involved in the commission
of an offence involving a prohibited drug.
If the person subject to the order was not present during a
search on their premise or vehicle, they must be given written
notice about the search after.
HOW IS A DRUG SUPPLY PROHIBITION ORDER MADE?
Drug supply prohibition orders may be made against persons at
least 18 years of age and who have been convicted of a
serious drug offence within 10 years.
A serious drug offence is defined to include the following
offences under the Drug Misuse and Trafficking
Act 1985 (NSW):
- possession of a tablet press or drug encapsulator (section
- possession of a precursor, or a drug manufacture apparatus,
intended by the person for use in the manufacture or production of
a prohibited drug (section 24A(1)).
- possession a precursor of prohibited drugs, in a quantity of
more than what is permitted (section 24B(1)).
Drug supply on an ongoing basis (section 25A(1)),
- a second or subsequent offence in organising or conducting in
organising or conducting, any drug premises (section 36Z(1)).
Offences involving cultivation including by enhanced indoor
means, supply, manufacture, production of a prohibited drug or
plant and exposing a child to the manufacture or production of a
prohibited drug will be classified as a serious drug offence, but
not if the offence relates only to less than an indictable
Any offence committed in another jurisdiction that would
constitute any of the aforementioned offences if it were committed
in New South Wales, and conspiring to commit any of the
aforementioned offences, will also be considered a serious drug
A police officer must apply to the Local Court for the drug
supply prohibition order to be made.
An order may then be made if it is deemed that the police
officer reasonably believes that the eligible person is likely to
engage in the manufacture or supply of a prohibited drug, as per
Upon the application being made, a Magistrate will consider:
- information considered ‘adverse’ to the application for
an order, including steps that the eligible person has taken to
stop or reduce their risk of committing drug-related offences,
- whether the person associates with other persons who are
involved in the manufacture or supply of a prohibited drug.
- whether the person is a member of, or associates with, a
- whether the person has cash or assets that are significantly
out of proportion to the person’s income,
- relevant criminal intelligence, and
- the serious drug offence/s someone has been convicted.
In determining whether to make a drug supply prohibition order,
an authorised magistrate may take into account whether there are
other practicable alternatives that could be used to reduce the
risk that the person will engage in the manufacture or supply of a
The person who is to be the subject of the drug supply
prohibition order is not entitled to be told about the application
and is not permitted to make a submission regarding its
They are not permitted to know the reasons for the decision to
make the order, and are not to be given access to, or provided
with, a document that formed part of the application.
However, no power may be exercised under a drug supply
prohibition order before a copy of the order has been served
personally on the subject of the order.
The minimum period of a Drug Supply Prohibition Order is 6
CAN A DRUG SUPPLY PROHIBITION ORDER BE REVOKED?
The subject of a drug supply prohibition order may apply to the
Local Court to have the order revoked, pursuant to section 13.
The court may then decide to affirm, vary, or revoke the
The court may only revoke the drug supply prohibition order if
it is satisfied that:
- the order is unreasonably onerous in the circumstances,
- the subject of the order is not likely to engage in the
manufacture or supply of a prohibited drug, or
- the risk of the subject of the order engaging in the
manufacture or supply of a prohibited drug could be mitigated in
An application to revoke the order must not be made by the
subject of the order within 6 months after a copy of the order has
been served personally on them, or an application for the
revocation of the order is refused by the Local Court.
An application for the revocation of a drug supply prohibition
order may be made by the Commissioner of Police or the oversight
commissioner at any time.
Despite this, if an order is successfully revoked, police are
not prevented from making a further application, but have to wait 6
months to apply again against the same subject of the order.
Ordinarily, the order will cease at the end of the period
specified by the authorised magistrate as the period for the order
or when the pilot scheme period ceases.