Nash begins marathon tour gathering information on ice

Assistant Minister for Health, Fiona Nash, is set to travel nearly 20,000 kilometres across the length and breadth of Australia as she gathers information on all aspects of the ice issue.

Page last updated: 15 May 2015

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Friday, 15 May 2015

Assistant Minister for Health, Fiona Nash, is set to travel nearly 20,000 kilometres across the length and breadth of Australia as she gathers information on all aspects of the ice issue.

Minister Nash departed for Wodonga today to hold the first of a series of eight planned consultations, the results of which will be fed into the National Ice Taskforce.

The consultations, all in rural or regional areas, aim to gather grass roots information on local impacts, effective programs and current efforts to combat the use of ice, and complement those undertaken by the Taskforce itself.

“Ice is a problem which reaches deep into the community and so we need the community to help us tackle it,” Minister Nash said.

“We want to hear from the people on the ground about what’s really going on.

“I’ll submit the outcomes of my consultations into the taskforce process, as other MPs, including Justice Minister Michael Keenan, will also do.

“The use of ice amongst methamphetamine users in Australia has doubled in recent years. Every community has a tragic story to tell about ice – recently I was told about a brother and sister who committed suicide after becoming hooked.

“Ice use is linked to psychosis, anxiety, depression, aggression and violence. Ice is harming individuals, destroying families and hurting communities.

“The ice issue requires a coordinated national approach.”

The Prime Minister announced in April that the National Ice Taskforce would investigate the ice situation across multiple sectors, including law enforcement, health and community organisations before submitting an interim report midyear to help inform the development of a National Ice Action Strategy.

The Federal Coalition Government has launched a hard-hitting advertising campaign on TV and social media highlighting the dangers of using ice.

The first Ice Community Consultation will be held today at the Huon Hill Hotel in Wodogna, Victoria, with representatives from government, local drug and alcohol, youth, mental health and community support services in attendance.

Anyone who wants to make a submission to the National Ice Taskforce can follow the links at www.australia.gov.au/drugs

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122 les.white@health.gov.au

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