Territory Stories

Ministerial Statement Kava Licensing Issues



Ministerial Statement Kava Licensing Issues

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Tabled paper 2012


Tabled Papers for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled by Timothy Baldwin


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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11 The Commonwealths new regime presents the problem that it will be legal to bring in 2 kilograms of kava in a travellers personal luggage for personal use. When used normally and not abused, kava is part and parcel of a social gathering, and it was never the intention to target those sitting around consuming the kava mud and imposing on them harsh penalties. The real target was the traffickers and dealers - those who profit from peddling addiction. In such circumstances the availability of legal 2 kilogram parcels cast a shadow over a regime that would have imposed an on the spot fine for possession of small amounts of less than 200 grams, but would have delivered harsh penalties for those dealing in greater amounts. I am advised that we could have legislated in such a way as to accommodate the legal 2 kilogram packet, but the Government has decided that for a limited period we will delay specific legislative action and allow the Commonwealths action a chance to work. Madam Speaker, the NT Government has attempted to control kava in the past. Until 1994, the supply and sale of kava was restricted under section 30(3) of the Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading Act. However, from 1994, licences to sell kava were no longer issued, due to legal conflict when the Commonwealth listed kava as a prohibited botanical plant under the Food Standards Code.

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