FORUM WILL GIVE COMMUNITY A SAY ON DRUG CRISIS

Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, is encouraging local communities to get involved in a community forum in Shepparton/Mooroopna to hear from locals, experts and law enforcement about ways to combat the drug ice.

Ms Symes said that the forum, to be held on March 3, at the Sir Ian McLennan Sports Centre, Mooroopna, 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 Symes said.

“We need to get to the heart of the problem and listen to the people who see the impacts of this tragedy every single day.”

To combat the drug, the Andrews Labor Government has 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.

“We will with the local community confront this crisis on our streets and at its source, and find solutions that make our communities safer,” Ms Symes said.

“This Government takes the ice epidemic confronting Victoria very seriously.

“This drug is killing Victorians, ruining lives and destroying families and 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 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.

The Shepparton/Mooroopna forum will be held at Sir Ian McLennan Sports Centre, Mooroopna on Tuesday, March 3, 2015.

More information about the forums can be found at www.goodsports.com.au/tackletheissue/forums/