A community forum will be held in Hamilton to hear from locals, experts and law enforcement about ways to combat the drug ice.
Member for Western Victoria Region, Gayle Tierney MP, said that the forum is one of nineteen that will take place across the state by mid-April.
“If we want to stop this drug then we have to hear from locals, because they know our community the best,” Ms Tierney said.
“We need to get to the heart of the problem and listen to the people who see the effects of this tragedy every single day.”
The Good Sports forums, which are organised by the Australian Drug Foundation, bring together sports club administrators and people involved in education, local government, health and youth services.
“We have already received a positive response from the first round of forums,” CEO of the Australia Drug Foundation, John Rogerson, said.
“They are important for the community and I am pleased that the remaining events will go ahead.”
To combat the drug, the Andrews Labor Government has also established an Ice Action Taskforce to examine ways to reduce the demand, supply and harm of the drug and produce an Ice Action Plan.
Labor’s Ice Intervention also includes $15 million for new drug and booze buses and
$500,000 to help set up grassroots action groups across regional Victoria.
Four new offences will be introduced, including penalties for trafficking ice to school
students, publishing instructions to manufacture ice, and allowing the use of premises for manufacturing and trafficking.
“Communities across regional Victoria have come together to confront this epidemic and get young people back on track, and we’ll listen to them,” said Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley.
“We’ll confront this crisis on our streets and at its source, and find solutions that make our communities safer.”
Minister Foley said, “We take the ice epidemic confronting Victoria very seriously. This drug is killing Victorians, ruining lives and destroying families. The Andrews Labor Government is determined to tackle this scourge across the state.”
Ice was linked to 32 murder investigations in Victoria between 2012 and 2013. The Coroners Court of Victoria found that deaths where methamphetamine was present increased from 66 in 2006 to 166 in 2013.
The Hamilton forum will be held at the Hamilton Performing Arts Centre on Tuesday 14th April. More information about the forums can be found at www.goodsports.com.au/tackletheissue/forums/