Page 1435 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 6 May 2015

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toxic waste for each kilogram of pure methylamphetamine produced. Toxic chemicals and residues have been found dumped into drains, into rivers, into public parks, on roadsides and in sewerage systems, posing immediate and long-term environmental health risks. Members may recall that a person accused of operating a drug manufacturing laboratory in Hume earlier this year was found out because suspicions were raised from strong chemical odours emanating from the sewerage.

It is clear, I think, to all of us that ice is a problem that needs a concerted, dedicated response. The difficult question, of course, is how to address it. On this note, I particularly welcome part 1(g) of Mr Hanson’s motion, which recognises that ice requires a whole-of-government response encompassing education, treatment, rehabilitation, community services, law reform and policing. I completely agree that the response must be multifaceted and certainly not just focused on enforcement. We cannot enforce our way out of the illicit drug problem. In fact, as I have discussed before, a strict law and order approach, or the war on drugs approach, can often be counterproductive. The Greens’ approach to illicit drugs is to take an evidence-based harm minimisation approach to drug regulation.

Mr Hanson’s motion mentions the Ted Noffs Foundation. I note that the foundation’s position on ice is that law enforcement alone will not solve the problem. Matt Noffs, the CEO of the foundation, wrote a strongly worded article recently calling for an end to what he calls the futile drug prohibition policy. It is positive to see that Ken Lay, the head of the federal government’s national task force to help tackle ice, has echoed the call for action beyond law enforcement. Mr Lay said it was time to look at options in both the health and education spaces. He said:

For social problems like these, law enforcement isn’t the answer …

Unless you get into the primary prevention end, unless you stop the problem occurring you simply won’t arrest your way out of this. Ice has been on the scene for over a decade and we’ve had a really strong law enforcement approach and it hasn’t resolved the problem. The time’s right now to look at the other options.

We cannot consider the issue of ice and what the ACT’s role should be in response without considering the existence of the federal government’s national task force. The task force was established by Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Part of its rationale is that it should coordinate local, state and federal efforts on ice. The task force will develop a national ice action strategy and has promised to deliver an interim report to the Prime Minister by the middle of the year. It is currently taking submissions. The report is to be considered by the Council of Australian Governments in mid-2015, with a final strategy to be put to COAG before the end of the year.

I am sometimes supportive of the ACT taking unilateral action on issues like this, especially where federal action is lacking or where COAG promises have failed to deliver, as they unfortunately often do. In this case, there is no indication of this, and in fact the task force has only just begun. This speaks to the ACT being part of this national strategy.

Mr Hanson’s motion calls for the government to develop a whole-of-government strategy and table it in the Assembly in August. While I am completely supportive of

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