Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - SA­MAN­THA HEALY

DEAD­BEAT par­ents and rel­a­tives are pick­ing up and drop­ping off school kids while high on drugs.

A Kelso man was al­legedly busted with metham­phetamines and cannabis in his sys­tem dur­ing pri­mary school drop- off yesterday. On Tues­day, a young mother had a baby and child in her ve­hi­cle when she re­turned a pos­i­tive read­ing for cannabis.

Po­lice yesterday slammed drug- driv­ing on school runs as par­tic­u­larly reck­less and ir­re­spon­si­ble.

The Kelso man, 50, was pulled over at Al­lam­bie Lane about 8.20am.

The mother, 28, was stopped at Cran­brook on Tues­day af­ter­noon.

Townsville Road Polic­ing Com­mand of­fi­cer- in- charge Se­nior Sergeant Bren­dan White said 76 driv­ers had re­turned pos­i­tive tests for illegal sub­stances be­tween July 1 and July 28, with metham­phetamines ac­count­ing for about 75 per cent of the de­tec­tions.

“We de­tect cannabis mostly in older driv­ers and metham­phetamines in the young driv­ing de­mo­graphic,” he said.

Townsville MP Scott Stewart, a for­mer high school prin­ci­pal, said school zones were meant to keep kids safe.

“For a care­giver to be driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence, well, that’s just crazy stuff,” he said.

“They are set­ting a re­ally bad ex­am­ple for the chil­dren and I would hope ev­ery care­giver has a good think about their use of drugs and al­co­hol, and the im­pacts it has on their fam­i­lies and the com­mu­nity.”

Par­ents and Cit­i­zens Queens­land chief ex­ec­u­tive Ke­van Good­worth urged com­mu­nity mem­bers to re­port any dan­ger­ous driv­ing be­hav­iour in school zones.

“We have a duty to re­port it. It may save a life,” he said.

Dr Kevin Ar­lett, of Townsville and Sub­ur­ban Med­i­cal Prac­tice, said driv­ing while on drugs was very dan­ger­ous.

“The meth and cannabis com­bi­na­tion is un­usual be­cause metham­phetamines are a stim­u­lant and cannabis is a de­pres­sant, so they would likely be work­ing against each other,” he said.

Townsville Rapid Ac­tion and Pa­trol’s In­spec­tor Joe Kitch­ing said all its of­fi­cers were trained to con­duct drug tests.

“It is not ac­cept­able in our com­mu­nity and puts peo­ple at ma­jor risk of in­jury or death,” Insp Kitch­ing said.

“It can take sev­eral days to get il­licit sub­stances out of your sys­tem, par­tic­u­larly am­phet­a­mines and ice, and driv­ers will be im­paired for a much longer pe­riod of time.”

TOWNSVILLE anti- Mus­lim cam­paigner Kim Vuga is cer­tainly a di­vi­sive char­ac­ter.

A well- known lo­cal ac­tivist and prom­i­nent in the Re­claim Aus­tralia move­ment, Ms Vuga’s ap­pear­ance this week on SBS’s Go Back To Where You Came From has thrust her and her po­lar­is­ing views into the na­tional spotlight.

Ms Vuga ar­gues Aus­tralia should ac­cept fewer Mus­lims, that mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism has failed and Sharia law is “alive and well”.

She even says in­dige­nous AFL star Adam Goodes is “un- Aus­tralian”.

Ms Vuga claims she has re­ceived over­whelm­ing sup­port from SBS view­ers who share her views, so much so that she is now con­sid­er­ing em­bark­ing on a po­lit­i­cal ca­reer.

It’s star­tlingly sim­i­lar to the rise of Pauline Han­son and the One Na­tion party in the 1990s.

Just as Ms Han­son and One Na­tion did, an­tiMus­lim and anti- mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism views ap­peal to dark places in our hearts where we fear that which we do not un­der­stand.

With the con­tin­u­ing con­flict in the Mid­dle East and news of terror at­tacks from ex­trem­ists who hate the Aus­tralian way of life, it is easy to slip into thoughts sim­i­lar to Ms Vuga’s.

It is pleas­ing to see Ms Vuga has re­ceived mes­sages crit­i­cis­ing her views as well.

Aus­tralia was built on prin­ci­ples of in­clu­sion and most peo­ple welcome mi­grants and em­brace the pos­i­tives in for­eign cul­tures.

While Ms Vuga speaks from Townsville, we are cer­tain most peo­ple in the city would re­ject any sug­ges­tion she speaks for Townsville.

Throw book at high par­ents HOW a par­ent could get high on drugs and drive their kids to school is mind- bog­gling.

The af­fect the drugs have on these peo­ple can’t be un­der­stated. These peo­ple need to wake up and re­alise when they get be­hind the wheel un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs that they are tak­ing a risk that could ruin lives.

Po­lice are on to these id­iots, set­ting up around schools to breathalyse and drug test them, catch­ing them in the act and pun­ish­ing them to the fullest ex­tent of the law. It is sad that this is even an is­sue. The book should be thrown at these dead­beat par­ents and guardians who think their drug high is more im­por­tant than the lives of kids try­ing to get an ed­u­ca­tion.

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