Report - supply and use of methamphetamines, particularly ice, in Victoria (5.08.2015)

Written on the 13 August 2015

 

Law Reform, Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee: supply and use of methamphetamines, particularly ice, in Victoria

 

5 August 2015

COUNCIL 

Statements on reports and papers 

GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)

 

I am pleased to rise to speak to the former Law Reform, Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee's report on its inquiry into the supply and use of methamphetamines in Victoria, and particularly to the government's response to that very important parliamentary inquiry.

At the outset I congratulate the members of the committee who worked on this extensive and comprehensive report. Unfortunately I was not in the chamber to hear Mr Ramsay's contribution on this report, but I believe he also spoke on this very issue the issue of ice and what is happening in neighbouring countries as well as what is happening here locally at home. A number of the MPs who served on that committee during its inquiry are still in this house, but I note that Mr Scheffer is no longer with us and that his contribution was significant.

This report demonstrates a comprehensive undertaking by the Parliament to investigate a significant problem faced by our community, and it is one that is being faced throughout the country. As we know, the Prime Minister has established a national task force which is headed by former Victorian Chief Commissioner of Police Ken Lay, who did a tremendous job in his role as police commissioner in Victoria and is now undertaking this very important work.

I note from various reports I have read that that task force is looking at the issue of ice from a national perspective and that it wants to work with the states and territories towards understanding the issues and determining what needs to be undertaken to address this scourge which is impacting upon so many of our young people and families.

What is interesting in this report is the evidence that the committee heard in relation to some of those issues. I will read a couple of points from the report in relation to areas affecting families. Page 4 of the executive summary of the report states:

Particular concerns have been expressed that methamphetamine is having a serious impact on families and the extended community, including in rural and regional areas of Victoria and in Aboriginal communities.

The report goes on to say that:

Although people of many age groups use ice, those aged 2029 are the most frequent users and most in this age group are male.

There are many issues I would like to speak to with this report, but I will focus not only on what is affecting the community, in particular the increased crime rates, but also on the increasing rates of family violence. Although ice cannot be attributed as the sole cause of family violence, it certainly appears to be a contributing factor.

I am very pleased that the government's response to this report outlines a number of areas that the committee wants to be addressed, including a focus on prevention and early intervention; reducing the supply, manufacture and distribution of ice; the important element that I will be looking to ensure that the government does follow through with, which is reducing the impact of ice on individuals, families and communities through support for early intervention and drug treatment services, information and support for families; effective justice responses to ice-related crime; and initiatives to protect the community from drug driving and ice-related violence.

I hope the government undertakes that comprehensive task, because they are very significant issues that many individuals and families are being affected by. In terms of the destruction that ice causes and the health impacts, this report goes on to talk about the physiological implications of this drug use, and they are truly quite horrific.

I know of people who have been ice users, and it certainly has destroyed their families. I think it is a concern of many people in this place that ice use is becoming far too prevalent across our communities. It is not assigned to any one particular demographic; it is right across our communities and does not discriminate. That is why we need to take a very strong stance on this.

In the remaining time that I have I again congratulate the committee on its comprehensive report and the recommendations it has made. I hope the government follows through on the response that it has outlined to the Parliament.

 


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