Australians have their say on impact of ice

Australians have their say on impact of ice

Domestic Policy Taskforces on Past Domestic Policy Initiatives National Ice Taskforce
Saturday, July 4, 2015

National Ice Taskforce

The Prime Minister’s National Ice Taskforce will wrap up its Australia-wide consultations today with a visit to a Melbourne online and telephone counselling service for people affected by substance misuse.

Taskforce members Mr Ken Lay, Dr Sally McCarthy and Professor Richard Murray have spent eight weeks travelling across Australia to hear first-hand from people dealing with the impacts of ice in communities, with a particular focus on regional Australia.

The Taskforce received more than 1300 submissions, held seven targeted community consultations and spoke to experts in drug treatment, health care, education, research and law enforcement to gain a better understanding of this drug and how it is causing harm.

Members of the Australian Parliament have also held a number of community consultations which have contributed to the information the Taskforce is now considering.

Taskforce lead, Ken Lay, said the stories the Taskforce heard on the growing problem of crystal methamphetamine (ice) were concerning.

“The strong message we heard was that this drug is hurting individuals, families, communities and frontline staff,” Mr Lay said.

“We heard harrowing personal stories from people who have used the drug themselves and their friends and families about the addictive and often destructive nature of the drug.”

Almost one in four submissions the Taskforce received included personal reflections, while the consultations focused on community and expert level experiences and impacts. The Taskforce received more than 100 submissions from organisations.

Dr McCarthy said people raised the need for better access to treatment, coordination of services and ensuring communities had the tools they needed to respond to the problem at a local level.

“There is no doubt people want better access to treatment and early intervention services,” Dr McCarthy said.

“The Taskforce has visited several services, including Turning Point today, and seen many different models of care and approaches. What we have seen and heard is the type of treatment needed depends on the severity of the problem and the individual needs of the users.”

The Taskforce has also seen many good examples of how communities were coming together to deal with this issue.

“Connected communities and local-led solutions to tackling local problems was a strength we saw in many places,” Mr Lay said.

“The input the Taskforce has received will assist in providing direction to Government on ways to deal with this complex problem.

“We would like to thank Australians who have taken the time and effort to share their stories, experiences and ideas.

“Their contributions will help us to form a picture of how this drug is causing harm and what can be done to fix this complex problem.”

The Taskforce will present an interim report to the Prime Minister for consideration by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in the coming weeks.

Following this, the Taskforce will work collaboratively with states and territories to develop a National Ice Action Strategy by the end of the year.

 

- Quote 1 - Ken Lay (Download - MP3)

- Quote 2 - Ken Lay (Download - MP3)

- Quote 3 - Ken Lay (Download - MP3)

- Quote 4 - Ken Lay (Download - MP3)

- Quote 5 - Ken Lay (Download - MP3)