Steph Ryan welcomes tabling of ice inquiry report
09 September 2014
The Nationals candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan welcomed the release of the Inquiry into the Supply and Use of Methamphetamine in Victoria, which was tabled in the Victorian Parliament last week.
Ms Ryan said the report, authored by Parliament’s Law Reform, Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee, made 54 recommendations to tackle the scourge of ice in Victoria.
Ms Ryan, who has repeatedly called for additional government resources to combat the use of ice in regional Victoria, said the recommendations included:
- The establishment of a premier-led ministerial council on methamphetamine, including the development of an ice action plan;
- Improved treatment facilities, particularly in regional areas, including withdrawal beds, better access to residential beds and outpatient facilities;
- Further research into effective treatment options for users;
- Laws to allow for the declaration of "drug transit zones" to assist with cross-border detection and seizure of illicit drugs on interstate roads.;
- Training for teachers on how to recognise and support young drug users; and
- An expansion of the drug court to a number of key regional areas.
“I strongly welcome these 54 recommendations and will continue to advocate for more to be done to tackle the problems associated with the increased use of ice, particularly in regional Victoria and the North East,” Ms Ryan said.
“Ice is having a horrific impact on our regional and rural communities and tackling the problem requires not only additional government resources, but a whole of community approach.
“This an issue that has been raised with me on many occasions as I speak with people throughout the electorate, and I recently attended a meeting of a local community action group in Seymour.
“I am encouraged by recent announcements from the Coalition Government which is committed to implementing a whole-of-government approach and empowering communities to tackle this complex issue.”
Ms Ryan said the Coalition Government’s whole-of-government approach included prevention, education, law and order, and increased support for drug treatment.
“This includes an additional $4.5 million to more than double the number of drug tests on our roads, including more tests in regional Victoria and funding for an additional 11 Passive Alert Detection (PAD) dogs to assist police to detect the manufacture and trafficking of ice,” Ms Ryan said.
Ms Ryan also welcomed the Coalition Government’s new ad campaign, ‘What are you doing on ice?, and website, www.ice.vic.gov.au, that will educate young Victorians about the dangers of using ice.
“The Coalition Government will also invest $2.7 million to enable local communities to implement local solutions to tackle ice, including locals forums, advice for families of users and to provide pathways to treatment and services in local communities,” Ms Ryan said
“By enabling local communities to implement local solutions we are empowering these communities to be part of the solution.”
Ms Ryan said a re-elected Liberal Nationals Coalition Government would deliver a new $2 million Ice Prevention Grants program.
“Grants of up to $100,000 will be offered to fund localised initiatives that may include in-school or community-wide education and awareness campaigns, and initiatives to respond to the impact of ice in individual communities,” Ms Ryan said.
“These important initiatives follow the Coalition Government’s $34 million package announced in the 2014/15 State Budget to help address the growing use of ice and others drugs which included an expansion of drug and alcohol services in Hume.
“Only the Coalition Government is committed to tackling the impact of ice or regional communities with a whole-of-government approach and further assistance for communities.
“As the Nationals candidate for Euroa, I will continue to advocate for more treatments services, further education and more assistance for users and young people.”
Visit www.ice.vic.gov.au for information and advice. For help, call DirectLine on 1800 888 236.