Government to tackle drug epidemic

Member for Lindsay, Fiona Scott with Lindsay’s submission to the National Ice Taskforce, ‘Ice Meltdown’. Photo: Megan Dunn
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Thousands of methamphetamine users and their families across Lindsay will see more support to battle against the ‘Ice’ epidemic.

The final report from the National Ice Taskforce has been released, and has provided a clear direction for a $300 million Commonwealth investment to eradicate the destructive drug.

Federal Member for Lindsay and anti-Ice crusader, Fiona Scott, said Ice continues to be a major and growing issue in the western Sydney community.

“Sadly, western Sydney has one of the highest methamphetamine usages, proportionately, in the world,” she said.

“Approximately 2000 people locally are using Ice. We need to help these people, their families and our community to eradicate this scourge from our community.”

Ms Scott made a submission to the Taskforce highlighting this “epidemic” in Lindsay, after a community forum in April.

“I would like to thank the Lindsay community for the constructive feedback and insights they have provided that formed the basis of our local submission,” she said.

“I am pleased the National Ice Taskforce has not only taken up the major issues identified by our Lindsay Community Ice Forum, they are providing solid funding.”

Of the four year $300 million investment, $13 million will increase the availability of treatment, $24.9 million will help families and communities respond and $18.8 million will establish better research, evidence and guidelines on Ice.

The largest investment, $241.5 million, will improve access to treatment through Primary Health Networks (PHN), such as the Nepean Blue Mountains PHN.

Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said utilising PHNs will draw on their local knowledge of each area.

“The Government understands that local knowledge is best. That is why our local PHNs will work with communities to determine what form of treatment will be most effective in each local area,” he said.

“Given the close correlation between mental health and drug abuse, we have closely aligned delivery of drug and alcohol treatment services with the delivery of mental health packages through PHNs.”

The measures from the package will form part of the new National Ice Action Strategy, that will be considered at the next Council of Australian Governments meeting.

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