Local help crucial in ice scourge
THE national ice taskforce has released its interim report into how to tackle the drug gripping users across the nation.
The taskforce held a number of forums around the country, including a vocal and frustrated crowd of Townsville residents.
From those forums, the taskforce identified six challenges including focusing law enforcement actions, targeting primary prevention, improving access to early intervention, treatment and support services, supporting local communities to respond, improving tools for frontline workers, and improving and consolidating research and data.
Member of the taskforce and JCU Professor Richard Murray said the interim report would be used to develop a national strategy to fight the ice scourge.
“There are some particular challenges, which this report has picked up – the particular implications about how we go about prevention is recognising that local is everything,” Prof Murray said.
people contact if they are worried about a family member or friend and how they get access to support and advice ... clearly you need to be doing a lot more locally.
“The resources and who you can turn to definitely needs to be more localised.”
Professor Murray said the final report should be tabled at the end of the year, with strategies being rolled out throughout next year.
“The emphasis of the report will be on how do governments, local, state and federal together, enable local responses and any measures taken are likely to be along those lines.
“Usually there will be budget cycles and things that will result in the announcements on what governments will do, in a sense a lot of the messages that came across around the country were it’s not a question of money, rather making sure things actually work together.”
Herbert MP Ewen Jones said it was pleasing to see the wheels in motion on the issue.
“Our community has already demonstrated it’s serious about finding local solutions and has taken the proactive approach of establishing a local Ice Taskforce Group,” Mr Jones said.
“It’s clear the problem of ice is impacting individuals and families in our city and that’s a real concern.
“From the discussions had in Townsville, rehabilitation and facilities to house those services will be vital,” he said.
“There is still a lot of work to be done.”