Local teamwork and promoting local solutions are the key to tackling the ice scourge in the community, Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta said at an ice round table he hosted in Wynnum on Friday.
Mr Vasta was joined by Minister for Rural Health and Minister responsible for alcohol and drug policy, Senator the Hon Fiona Nash. Minister Nash visited Bonner to receive a briefing on the findings of the Bonner Ice Forum held last December.
“I thank police, health and church representatives who came along to the round table to discuss our local situation with the Minister,” Mr Vasta said.
“I appreciate their input and personal feedback to the Minister regarding ice in our community, and their hard work on the frontline of the terrible epidemic of ice.”
Mr Vasta said the Government’s new ice action plan would aid local efforts to combat the spread of ice.
The package includes $241.5 million to be invested through the 31 Primary Health Networks (PHNs), which will use their local knowledge to boost the alcohol and other drug treatment sector and reduce demand for ice.
Minister Nash said helping those who are hooked on ice to get off it takes the biggest buyers out of the market and reduces demand.
“PHNs will choose what forms of treatment is best bang for buck in the local region – be that counselling, rehabilitation or other forms of treatment. Government and PHNs will also work closely with the Aboriginal Community Controlled health sector to invest in culturally appropriate services,” Minister Nash said.
“Existing services will be extended by another 12 months to 30 June 2017 to allow considered planning of service delivery by PHNs going forward.”
“The PHNs also deliver mental health treatment services which will provide a vital link between the drug and alcohol treatment sector and the mental health sector.”
Mr Vasta said he was pleased to see local people will make decisions about how best to help the region’s ice problem.
“I look forward to collaborating with this amazing team in coming months and identifying new solutions to the ice scourge,” Mr Vasta said.
For more information about the Government’s ice action strategy visit www.health.gov.au/ice.