Grass roots a key to tackling ice

The Australian Government will enlist local sports clubs and empower local communities to tackle the use of crystal methamphetamine or “ice”.

Page last updated: 07 December 2015

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5 December 2015

The Federal Coalition Government will enlist local sports clubs and empower local communities to tackle the use of crystal methamphetamine or “ice”, Minister responsible for drug and alcohol policy Fiona Nash said today.

Acting on the National Ice Taskforce report, the Coalition will invest $39.72 million over four years to help communities and sporting clubs tackle ice in their regions and to educate young people about the dangers of ice.

“The Coalition Government will invest $19.2 million into 220 local community drug action teams, to help with vital coordination of resources for both users and families which has been lacking in some communities. Groups may also choose to hold community forums. This measure will support and educate families, young people and users from within their own communities.

“It is important that local communities have the opportunity to develop their own response because local leaders have the knowledge and experience to target action to where it will be most effective.

“By giving local communities with tools and guidance, the Government will help them to become active players in tackling this complex issue.

“The highly successful Life Education Van, which already visits 600,000 upper primary school aged students every year, will receive an extra $450,000 to educate children about the dangers of ice. Given the van is already operational, a relatively small investment can make a big difference here.

“Similarly, the Good Sports programme, which already promotes responsible consumption of alcohol in 7000 sporting clubs, will receive an extra $4.6 million over four years to expand the programme and take the message about ice to those clubs,” Minister Nash said.

“Extending the Good Sports Programme to educate about ice will help convince young people not to try the drug through learning about it from peers in an environment they trust.”

Australian Drug Foundation CEO John Rogerson, which also administers the Good Sports programme, welcomed the announcements.

“This investment will make a real difference on the ground. Good Sports helps to work through issues around alcohol consumption and now we have a process to work through the issue of illicit drugs. This is a fantastic opportunity to take the Good Sports programme and message about ice across Australia, and will help deal with an issue which has been a major concern for a long period of time.”

A further $15 million will be provided to a new advertising campaign including a big social media focus, as the government aims to educate young people about ice.

Doctors and alcohol and drug treatment services will also receive updated information and guidelines on how to deal with issues around ice addiction, a $472,000 investment.

Communities, parents and teachers will also have better access to information and resources on ice and other harmful drugs at the new Positive Choices website.

The National Ice Taskforce was established in April 2015 and delivered its Final Report to the Prime Minister in October 2015.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

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