Support for local families, treatment services and sporting clubs-extra $300m to tackle ice

Wednesday 9 December 2015:

As a community representative and father, I continue to be deeply concerned about the impacts of the drug ice and the pressure it is putting on users, local families, our frontline workers and treatment facilities.

I therefore welcome a further $300m Commonwealth Government funding focused on support for communities, treatment services and increased education through sporting clubs.

The extra funding follows the release of the National Ice Taskforce Final Report, which found that despite the hard work of police, health authorities, community groups and organisations, communities are struggling to deal with the growth in ice use. The report also found more support is needed for treatment services along with better education and information.

These issues will be addressed with funding in the following areas relevant to our community:

  • $24.9m for up to 220 Community Drug Action Teams to provide local solutions. A national campaign will seek Expressions of Interest (EOI) from interested communities, and I will be encouraging and working with ours to apply. Each team will include a local council, youth service, health service, school, police and interested community members/groups. The teams are aimed to be in place from 1 July 2016, and will build on the work of existing local action groups.
  • An additional $241.5 m to be shared between the 31 Primary Health Networks (PHNs) across the nation, including the South Eastern Melbourne PHN which covers our region and has a service centre in Mornington. With the extra funding, the South Eastern PHN will provide improved access and treatment for ice and other drugs. Over the coming weeks, the PHN will consult local residents, clinicians and other stakeholders on what services may be needed to meet the needs of the local community.
  • An extra $4.6m for the Good Sports programme to increase education at local clubs.   More than 100 sporting clubs in our local council areas are members of the Programme, which provides resources and training to help clubs tackle alcohol and drug related issues through education.
  • An additional $13 million to introduce new Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items for Addiction Medicine Specialists to increase the availability of treatment.
  • $18.8m to establish better research, evidence and guidelines on ice, including a new Centre for Clinical Excellence for Emerging Drugs of Concern.

The new injection of finding builds on other Commonwealth Government programmes such as the Dob in a Dealer campaign.

I am also continuing to work with local community organisations and Frankston City Council to organise a public ice forum in Frankston next year, and plan to host a roundtable with key community, health and police representatives to discuss the findings in the report and how we as a community can get the most out of the measures.

For more information about the National Ice Taskforce, including the Final Report, go to www.pmc.gov.au/ice