Transcript of Press Conference - Announcement of the first 40 Local Drug Action Teams
Transcript of Minister for Health, Greg Hunt's press conference at Frankston Hospital, Victoria announcing the first 40 Local Drug Action Teams on 3 April 2017.
The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health
Thank you to everybody associated with the Frankston Mornington Peninsula Local Drug Action Team.
Ice is an issue that affects at least 200,000 Australians directly a year and hundreds of thousands more Australians in terms of their family, the impact, and the community more generally.
It’s a hideous drug because it’s not just addictive, it’s not just debilitating, but it also in many cases leads to violence.
So yes, there is a war on ice, but that involves policing, which is indispensable, but it also involves community.
Today we’re looking at the community half of it as part of our $300 million National Ice Action Strategy.
We are launching 220 Local Drug Action Teams around the country in a $19 million initiative.
Most significantly, it’s 40 local teams today, and the first of the meetings has occurred here in Frankston Hospital.
And this is about partnering young people with local businesses and sporting clubs or other forms of interest.
And that can mean, for example, let’s say there’s a young boy or girl from a vulnerable family, their parents might be an ice user, the fear is that they could easily grow into ice use themselves, giving them access to a local netball club, soccer team, gymnastics, through supporting their fees, their equipment, their transport to and from.
So the ability just to be part of the community, and that’s about diversion, it’s about prevention, it’s about participation, and it’s about, where things are at a more difficult place, recovery.
So these Local Drug Action Teams at the end of the day are about giving young people a pathway to a better future.
Here we’ve got the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Mentis Assist, the Salvation Army, all working with the Alcohol & Drug Foundation and Peninsula Health as just one case study of the 40 teams which would begin today as part of the broader 220 team rollout.
That in turn is part of our broader National Ice Action Strategy, which in turn is part of a whole national plan around preventive health. So that’s the big picture, that’s what we’re doing.
But I want to thank you, Sue, I want to thank John Rogerson, you and your team, and everybody who, at the grassroots level, is trying to protect and save each individual life.
This is about each individual person. Thank you, and Chris, if you want to say anything?
Well firstly it’s great to be here to announce the first of the 40, out of 220 altogether, Local Drug Action Teams here on the Peninsula.
It’s been very pleasing to work with the Minister for Health Greg Hunt, he’s a member of a neighbouring seat as well, with RAD-FMP, Peninsula Health, and many other partners to see this come to fruition.
This was one of the election commitments during my campaign to deliver a funded taskforce here on the Peninsula, and one of the first things that they were going to be doing is working with 95 local sporting clubs, which will help to reduce the ice and drug use here on the Peninsula by engaging with young people directly in sport.
I’m very pleased to join with the Minister, and I thank the Minister and everyone involved for their work on this Local Drug Action Team funding. Thank you.