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Beat Ice and Save Lives

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Tags: Methamphetamine, Family Violence, Health, Drug Policy

Last night's Four Corners program revealed the devastation Chrystal methamphetamine, or Ice, is wreaking on individuals and families in North and North West Tasmania, Greens Health spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said today.

“Four Corners laid bare the distressing facts on the scourge of Ice in some of the state's most disadvantaged communities,” Ms O’Connor said.

“The 80% pure meth, ferociously addictive drug is being shipped across Bass Strait from Victoria into Devonport and along the coast, undoubtedly in both directions.”

“Tasmania Police confirm Ice addiction is raging across the Coast.”

“The rapidly growing incidence of Ice use has coincided with a sharp increase in crime and domestic violence. Community sector workers report increasingly violent behaviour among some client groups.  The safety of these workers is a growing issue.”

“In the home environments afflicted by Ice, children are suffering abuse and neglect. This drug threatens to destroy multiple generations in single families.”

“Disturbingly, there are no government-funded beds to treat Ice addicts, to help break this destructive cycle.”

“And the best Health Minister, Michael Ferguson, can offer is a review?”

“Where's the acknowledgement that a crisis exists? “

“Where's the commitment to responding effectively, with the necessary reprioritised resources to save a generation of Tasmanians from being laid to waste by Ice?”

“The Minister doesn't need a review. A comprehensive brief from his Department will tell him far more resources, treatment facilities and a genuinely whole of government response is urgently required.”

“The Premier should call together a crisis Cabinet meeting with the Ministers for Police and Emergency Services, Health, Human Services, Transport, Tourism and Education at the table.”

“Money needs to be put on the table.”

“The community sector needs to be invited to inform the government response with its on ground insights and experience working in areas of disadvantage.”

“Everyone needs to work together to rid Tasmania of the scourge of Ice.”

“As an island community of half a million citizens, we should be able to beat Ice and save lives,” Ms O’Connor said.