Page 1433 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 6 May 2015

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Ice use has both local and national dimensions, and it is clear that all Australian governments need to work together to tackle it. The work of the task force will therefore have input from all commonwealth, state and territory governments, through senior officials in first minister departments, along with health and law enforcement agencies. The national strategy will address a range of interrelated issues such as prevention, education, health, community and family support, and law enforcement, building on commonwealth, state and territory efforts to date.

An interim report is expected to be provided to the Prime Minister in June. This report will outline the nature of the problem across the country, outline what jurisdictions are currently doing, identify where gaps are and propose a way forward. A final strategy is due to be considered by COAG before the end of calendar year 2015.

To inform the work of the task force, a range of community consultation mechanisms will occur. An online public submission process has opened, through the national ice strategy website, to ensure all have the opportunity to provide input. This website remains open until 20 May. The task force will hold seven community discussions with key community stakeholders in rural, regional and remote areas, given particular concern in these areas.

In the ACT, we will continue to monitor our efforts to ensure they remain targeted and effective. The ACT alcohol, tobacco and other drugs strategy is a whole-of-government strategy across all drug types. The overarching approach is to focus on the three pillars of harm minimisation: supply reduction, harm reduction and demand reduction. The next iteration of the ACT government’s strategy is being finalised this year. Again, we will be working with all states and territories, as well as the commonwealth, as part of the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs, on the national drug strategy and supporting the work of the task force.

One of the challenges in providing services to people who use ice is that they may not disclose their use to their GP—or indeed any health professional—and probably will not voluntarily present for treatment services. Making sure that people do not feel stigmatised, that they feel they can approach treatment services without being judged, is clearly very important. Treatment is available, and it does work.

Being a small jurisdiction with porous borders, we need to ensure that a collaborative approach is being taken across all states and territories to ensure that those who seek to exploit vulnerable Australians are not able to take advantage of any loopholes or inconsistencies. We also need to ensure that our police can effectively tackle the makers and suppliers of this drug—that their manufacturing process is disrupted, suppliers are identified and convicted, and we get as much of this noxious chemical off our streets and away from vulnerable people as possible.

This is the government’s focus. We will continue to closely align with the actions of the commonwealth and other jurisdictions.

I commend the motion, with my amendments and the one I understand is coming from Minister Rattenbury, to the Assembly.

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