Christensen turns up heat on ice
LAST December, about 50 people were arrested on more than 300 drugs charges in the small town of Bowen – mostly related to the supply and distribution of ice.
Ice and meth amphetamine also appear to be prevalent in the townships of Proserpine, Cannonvale and Airlie Beach, where crimes related to the use, production and supply of the drug are regularly dealt with in the Proserpine Magistrate’s Court.
Federal member for Dawson George Christensen says the Liberal National Government has this “ugly scourge” in its sights and is ramping up efforts to crack down on drug dealers and the misery they peddle.
“There are many anecdotal reports of the prevalence of ‘ice’, ‘shards’, ‘gear’ and ‘uppers’ in our community, particularly among our young people. Regardless of what you call it, this is a life-destroying substance which will have devastating effects on users and their families,” Mr Christensen said.
“The latest statistics on this drug point to the need for action – there is an increase in the number of meth amphetamine users switching to the crystalline form known as ice, they are using more frequently, and the purity of the drug has tripled,” he said.
“The result of this is greater harm to individuals using the drug and more extreme behaviour for families and law enforcement officers to deal with.”
Mr Christensen said the Federal Government, under the direction of Assistant Minister for Health, Senator Fiona Nash, had asked the newly-reshaped Aus- tralian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs (ANACAD) to provide advice on tackling this problem as its first priority.
“This year alone the Liberal National Government is providing about $200 million for drug and alcohol treatment, research and education,” he said.
“There is also a greater focus on collaboration between agencies and across federal and state police because no one single agency can tackle this issue alone.”