Forrestfield MLA Nathan Morton turns up the heat on ice

Forrestfield MLA Nathan Morton with a copy of the WA Meth Strategy 2016. Picture: David Baylis          d455131
Forrestfield MLA Nathan Morton with a copy of the WA Meth Strategy 2016. Picture: David Baylis        d455131

FORRESTFIELD MLA Nathan Morton has introduced a series of forums to help the community tackle the methamphetamine problem since WA’s Meth Strategy 2016 was introduced earlier this year.

Deputy Premier Liza Harvey and Mental Health Minister Andrea Mitchell will attend a forum at Woodlupine Community Centre on June 16.

Mr Morton said the emergence of ice in the community was putting enormous pressure on families, communities and the police and emergency departments.

“Methamphetamine is unlike any drug we have seen before in WA; it is linked to the vast majority of crime and comes with an unprecedented level of violence,” Mr Morton said.

“The Government will do all that it can to eradicate it from our streets.”

Ms Harvey said the State Government recently launched the ice strategy, which pulled together all government resources.

“We are fighting meth on three fronts – education to stop people from using this drug; support and treatment services to help people who are impacted by meth and, something I am particularly passionate about, crushing the supply into WA,” she said.

Ms Harvey said the 2016-17 budget allocated $30 million for services to battle ice, the majority in treatment areas, including 60 additional treatment beds, bringing the total to 416. A hotline will be established for people affected by meth, along with education material and road side drug and alcohol testing.

Ms Mitchell said the second phase of the Government’s drug aware Meth Can Take Control campaign went live on April 18, delivering a strong prevention message to young people. Ms Mitchell said it resonated strongly with families.

“The campaign presents powerful real-life stories of people’s lives unravelling due to the negative impact of ice on their mental and physical health, legal consequences, relationships and work,” she said.

“Experts consulted in developing this unique campaign advised it was vital to speak directly to 17-25-year-olds at risk of using meth, but also to the harder-to-reach regular users, and their parents, family and friends, to encourage people to seek help and support earlier.

“It is pleasing we are reaching these people with messages that motivate them to change their behaviours to prevent harm, delay the uptake and stop ice use.”

Mr Morton said the forum would be a great opportunity for the public to hear how the State Government was tackling the problem and for residents to put their questions directly to the policy makers.

Hasluck Labor candidate Bill Leadbetter said the ice forum was too little too late.

“Ice is an evil drug that destroys families and destroys lives. It has taken the Liberals many years to make any attempt to address this, and now in the context of an election campaign they are only just getting around to it.

“I really hope that this is not just a stunt to grab an easy headline but a real commitment to address this problem.

“If that is the case, then I certainly welcome it.”

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