Regional ice committees, enhanced policing, education, harm reduction programs and facilities for withdrawal and treatment are among more than 50 recommendations contained in the final report into use of the illicit drug in Victoria.DARREN LINTON September 4, 2014 4:12am
Lots to consider: Victorian Premier Denis Napthine said his government would carefully consider the inquiry's 54 recommendations into illicit drug use.
State Member for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay, who chaired the parliamentary Law Reform, Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee that compiled the report, said much time was spent visiting rural and regional Victoria. The committee took evidence about how the use of methamphetamine, particularly crystal methamphetamine, was affecting these communities.
‘‘It was clear that people from across the state felt that methamphetamine was having a damaging effect on sections of their community and that extra support was required in the areas of health, law enforcement, education and, particularly, family support,’’ he said.
‘‘In short, the committee believes there needs to be a response to a drug problem that is having a significant impact on the social fabric of local communities.’’
The report said the use of the drug ice had remained stable in Victoria, but rising purity had dramatically increased its harmful effects.
Young Victorian men aged 20 to 29 were the most frequent users of the drug and they were more commonly using its potent crystal rather than powdered form.
‘‘This exaggerates the drug’s harmful effect,’’ Mr Ramsay said.
‘‘It’s a drug that takes no prisoners in terms of its addictiveness.’’
About two per cent of the Victorian community was estimated to be using ice.
The report calls for establishment of a premier-led ministerial council and Victorian Premier Denis Napthine yesterday used the release of the inquiry report to announce several measures to strengthen policing.
All highway patrol cars in Victoria will be given the power to conduct roadside drug tests at a cost of $4.5
Shepparton was one of the first areas of the state to be equipped for mobile drug testing.
A further $1.6 million will be allocated to train 11 additional drug sniffer dogs, with eight to be based in regional areas.
Dr Napthine said drugs — including ice — were a factor in 26 per cent of road fatalities.
‘‘Ice is a dangerous drug that can, and unfortunately does, ruin lives,’’ he said.
He said the government would consider the Victorian parliamentary inquiry’s 54 recommendations carefully.
Committee member Ben Carroll said ice had become pervasive in regional towns where it was ‘‘very cheap and very accessible’’.
Committee member David Southwick said television had also played a role in glamorising ice through popular shows such as Breaking Bad.
‘‘We need to send a very clear message out to the community that this drug is a dirty drug, it is being marketed quite the opposite even by its name,’’ he said.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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