Top priority to wipe out drug by Canning by-election candidates

BOTH Liberal and Labor’s Canning by-election candidates have announced plans to address the impact of ice in the community.

Liberal candidate Andrew Hastie said that if elected he would implement a Canning Ice Action Plan within his first 30 days as Federal member.

It will include a taskforce that consults with the community and reports back to ministers, a community forum that ensures the taskforce is properly informed with community intelligence and a “Dob In A Dealer” campaign.

Mr Hastie recently brought together Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan, WA Police Minister Liza Harvey, WA Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis, WA Mental Health Minister Helen Morton and City of Armadale chief executive Ray Tame to plan an effective and “realistic” strategy to tackle the issue.

He said families were being torn apart and drug-related crime was rising.

“I’ve had personal experience on this with friends being directly affected by this scourge and local people throughout the electorate have told me their tragic stories as I’ve met them.

“A frustrated Armadale shop owner told me about his daily battle of dealing with ice addicts stealing from his store and causing damage.

“We will work through this and if we need more resources, you can be sure I’ll be fighting for them.”

Labor’s Canning candidate Matthew Keogh recently announced a Labor Government would invest $3.2 million to combat ice in the electorate during a visit to Hope Community Services in Armadale.

Mr Keogh said a holistic solution was needed when looking at the causes of crime.

He emphasised the need to support communities through drug rehabilitation services and criticised cuts to the Health Flexible Funds.

“Those funds support prevention and rehabilitation for people that are on drugs and that includes ice, which at the moment is seen as one of the key drivers of crime in this area,” he said.

“Police statistics showed that Armadale had one of the highest crime rates in the Perth metropolitan area.

“In the year to June, there were 571 assaults, 377 home burglaries, 34 robberies and 130 car thefts,” he said.

Western Australia’s rate of amphetamine use is reportedly the highest in the country, with 3.8 per cent of the population using amphetamines compared to the national average of 2.1 per cent.