Community action as Frankston Ice Forum announced

Wednesday 30 March 2016

Community action is central to the findings of the National Ice Taskforce, and together with Peninsula Voice, I will be actively participating in the Frankston Ice Forum to be conducted on the 27th of April, 2016 from 6:30pm at Peninsula City Church.

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.

Followings successful roundtable workshop with key community and health representatives to discuss the findings in the report and where a need to increase available treatment services was highlighted, there is now an opportunity for the broader public to share views about how we can further combat drug usage and how we as a community can get the most out of the Federal Government’s measures.

The devastation that ice causes to our community is very real with numbers of people affected by ice, or their families, having shared with me how lost, out of control and desperate they are for help.

The battle against ice can only be won through a consistent and coordinated approach with all levels of government, police, health, not for profit organisations and the broader community.

I commend local police, Peninsula Health and other support services and community groups for their dedication and work they are doing to helping Ice users and their families.

The Coalition Government will invest almost $300 million over four years to improve treatment, after care, education, prevention, support and community engagement to tackle ice through the National Ice Taskforce, led by former Victorian Police Commissioner Ken Lay. The package includes:

  • $241.5 million to be invested through the 31 Primary Health Networks (PHNs), which will use their local knowledge to boost the alcohol and other drug treatment sector and reduce demand for ice talk about South Eastern PRN’s plan to consult.

  • An additional $13 million to introduce new MBS items for Addiction Medicine Specialists to increase the availability of treatment.

  • An additional $24.9 million to help families and communities by providing the resources, information and support they need to respond to ice.

  • An additional $18.8 million to establish better research, evidence and guidelines on ice, including a new Centre for Clinical Excellence for Emerging Drugs of Concern.

Locally, $24.9m for up to 220 Community Drug Action Teams will be provided for local solutions. A national campaign will seek Expressions of Interest (EOI) from interested communities. 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. Let PHN rep talk about their plans.

  • 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.

The Government is providing around $200 million this year alone for drug and alcohol treatment, research and education.

I look forward to presenting the Federal Government’s findings and strategy from the National Ice Taskforce at the Frankston Ice Forum, so we can all work together to tackle the scourge of Ice.

For more information, please visit Peninsula Voice: http://www.peninsulavoice.org/upcoming-events.html