Tackling the ‘ice’ epidemic

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Lindsay MP Fiona Scott addressing the 'ice' forum earlier this year

Lindsay MP Fiona Scott has welcomed the interim report from the National Ice Taskforce, which the Prime Minister presented to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) last Friday.

After raising the issue in Parliament back in March after ice arrest statistics in St Marys showing almost one per week, a forum was held in the local area.

A committee brought the recommendations into a single report.

“Our community saw six key areas in which the ice epidemic could be tackled. From that, ten key recommendations were made,” Ms Scott said.

“We presented our report to Mr Ken Lay, head of the taskforce and the Prime Minister who congratulated the community on their response in a video message to the electorate.

“I am very pleased to see that key measures from our community’s ‘Ice Meltdown’ report has been picked up in the Ice Taskforce’s interim report.

“That includes, a single point of contact where people can receive information, counselling and other support services. This report also identifies six key areas of attack including law enforcement, prevention, early intervention and treatment as well as the consolidation of research and data.”

The Taskforce, led by Ken Lay APM who was Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police and supported by Professor Richard Murray and Dr Sally McCarthy received extensive input through 1300 submissions, as well as advice from experts and community members, all of which informed the interim report.

The Taskforce has identified six key areas to guide work toward the development of the

National Ice Action Strategy which include:
• focusing law enforcement actions
• targeting primary prevention
• improving access to early intervention, treatment and support services
• supporting local communities to respond
• improving tools for frontline workers
• improving and consolidating research and data

COAG agreed to work together to ensure individuals and families affected by the drug have a single contact point where they can go to receive information, counselling and other support services.

COAG also endorsed the work currently under way to develop a national cooperative scheme on unexplained wealth, noting this could reduce the financial incentives for organised crime groups involved in the ice trade.

The Taskforce will continue working with the Prime Minister, the states and territories and the Australian Local Government Association to develop a final report and strategy to be considered by the next COAG.

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