Drug education funding
15 April 2015
15 April 2015
RYAN (Euroa) — On Sunday, while judging a talent show in Euroa as part of National Youth Week, I met a young Yorta Yorta man from Shepparton named Brady Jones. For the past few years Brady has been writing songs and performing under the name BricKy B. Brady's performance left a lasting impression on me. He performed a song he wrote called Glass Pipes, which tells a terrible story about the impact of ice on his family, his mates and the Shepparton community. Brady wrote the song to wake people up to the impact of ice.
While support for addressing this issue is bipartisan, I am concerned by Labor's decision to cut $4.7 million that the coalition allocated for community education forums and grants programs. Youth organisations are also disappointed by the Premier's decision to cut this funding. Recently I met with Jim Gow, the project officer at Word and Mouth, which is a fantastic youth-run organisation in Shepparton.
Jim has held a number of successful forums in Shepparton to educate young people about the impact of ice. By demonstrating the harmful impacts of hydrochloric acid and other ingredients, Jim believes the forums have helped to deter young people from using the drug. Word and Mouth planned to apply to the $2 million grants program for funding to put on a part-time person to educate more young people. As Jim said to me, 'Ice is everyone's problem. It's a community problem and the community needs to take a stand'. Instead of cutting funding to community education programs, I urge Labor to support the efforts of young people like Brady and organisations such as Word and Mouth.