Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan was joined today by the Minister for Rural Health Senator Fiona Nash to announce $5.7 million to provide a range of services to tackle the scourge of Ice in our community.
“This follows on from the Ice Taskforce Forum that I hosted with Fiona 12 months ago in Lismore at the Workers Club,” he said.
“Local problems need local solutions and this huge injection of funds to the North Coast Primary Health Network will allow it to roll our local programs that are specifically designed to combat the spread of Ice in our community,” he said.
“Our local North Coast Primary Health Network will be funded to develop drug treatment services and help reduce the demand for this very dangerous drug.
“Ice is playing havoc in many regional communities, including ours. The Government’s response to the Ice Taskforce will allow our community to tackle Ice use head on.
“Ice not only hurts the user, it tears apart families and puts our frontline emergency workers like nurses and police in physical danger.”
Mr Hogan said the NCPHN had already conducted local-needs assessment to determine where there are gaps in services and from July 1 will start using this money to provide various rehabilitation services.
“This is an all-of-government approach. We must help users get off this drug while we crack down on dealers.”
This approach was recommended by the Federal Government’s National Ice Taskforce led by the former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Mr Ken Lay APM. The Government asked the Taskforce to provide advice on the development of a National Ice Action Strategy.
Senator Nash said the devastating scourge of ice often hits regional communities the hardest.
“Kevin Hogan has lobbied me endlessly on this issue – with him, we ran a very well attended Ice forum here in Lismore last year – and I’m so pleased we’re delivering this founding,” she said.
“I have visited countless regional towns and spoken with hundreds of families who are grappling with the impact of this terrible drug – including here on the North Coast.
“Local police, health workers and the National Ice Taskforce have all said we simply cannot arrest our way out of this problem.
“To break the drug dealer’s business model, we have to smash demand for their terrible product.”