Member for Western Victoria, Simon Ramsay, has welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to provide support funding to target local drug action plans through the Alcohol and Drug Foundation.
Mr Ramsay is the past Chairman of the Victorian Joint Parliamentary Committee for Drugs and Crime Prevention from the 2014 Parliament.
Mr Ramsay said a key recommendation of the Committee’s Inquiry into the Supply and Use of Methamphetamines (ICE) in Victoria was for the Government to deliver local drug action plans for which local communities could have ownership.
Mr Ramsay said that it was disappointing that the Andrews Government has all but ignored the findings and 54 recommendations of the (ICE) Report.
“However, the National ICE Taskforce through Chair, Ken Lay, has seen fit to use the report to help develop a Commonwealth drug offensive, the National ICE Strategy. It will have a real impact on the ground,” he said.
Mr Ramsay said the methamphetamine inquiry he headed found that Australia has a huge appetite for illicit drugs with more than two per cent of the population considered regular drug users. There are more than 200,000 regular Ice users alone.
The federally funded Local Drug Action Teams will focus on delivering local health promotion, community led education and mentoring programs, early intervention and prevention programs and providing support of those most at risk.
Mr Ramsay said it was disappointing the Andrews Government has let the Victorian Joint Parliamentary Methamphetamine report gather dust while drug use in Victoria spiralled further out of control.
“It has been three years since the Inquiry recommended the work that could be achieved through the Local Drug Action Teams.
Just as he did with the East-West Link, Daniel Andrews has let Victorians down again by ripping up another contract.
Victoria will pay dearly for his failure to act as rampant drug use, and its consequences, continues unrepentantly.
Thankfully, the Federal Government is prepared to listen, look at the evidence, and act.”