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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 May 2015) . . Page.. 1434 ..

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.48): It is timely that Mr Hanson brings this motion forward to the Assembly, as it gives us an opportunity to discuss what is both a very topical and very consuming issue, and one that has received quite some coverage in recent times. With the recent announcement of the federal government’s national task force on ice, and with other jurisdictions also developing strategies, it is quite appropriate that the Assembly should have this discussion.

I agree with many of the comments already made about ice—which, as others have noted, is the crystalline form of methamphetamine. This is clearly a drug that can be extremely damaging for individuals and families. Beyond this, the negative impacts of ice are felt right across the community, impacting people such as healthcare workers, ambulance officers, police officers and, quite specifically, Indigenous communities, who have voiced that methamphetamine use and its consequences are of particular concern.

I recall a Canberra Times feature story about Canberrans who had used ice and the impacts it had on their lives and the lives of those around them. It told the story of Sarah, who was spending $500 a week on ice supplied by her former partner and who lost access to her children. Most mothers would do anything to be with their children. Chloe said she had lost contact with her children due to the drug. She said:

I don’t think my son will even like me, because I’ve hurt them so much, emotionally … I almost lost my mind, and if it wasn’t for places like the Adult Mental Health Unit at Canberra Hospital, I’d be bat crazy.

Another recovering ice user, Mark, said:

With my addiction I started gambling a lot and I didn’t care, but afterwards I had guilt. I could be up $20,000 on a night and it wasn’t enough.

There is increasing evidence regarding the link between the use of ice and family violence. This was described in the Australian Crime Commission’s report on ice released in March, called The Australian methylamphetamine market: the national picture. The report said that ice users are more likely to demonstrate violent behaviour and aggression, including domestic violence and sexual assaults. These crimes, which, as we have discussed before, are largely perpetrated against women, are already a major problem in the ACT and in broader society. If we are able to tackle these problems holistically, addressing ice is another factor to consider in the puzzle.

The Australian Crime Commission report released recently discussed several other harms of ice. It said that many studies have found a correlation between methylamphetamine use and psychosis, including a recent Australian study concluding that users of crystal methylamphetamine were five times more likely to suffer psychotic symptoms while taking the drug than when they were abstinent.

Even the manufacture of ice, in clandestine laboratories often located in or near residential communities, poses a danger. It can often cause explosions, as Mr Hanson noted, and can emit harmful chemicals. The report says that a clandestine laboratory manufacturing methylamphetamine generates up to 10 kilograms of hazardous and

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