National ice taskforce

Mr Tehan said Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s announcement that the Commonwealth would form a National Ice Taskforce, headed by former Victorian Chief Commissioner of Police Ken Lay, was a vital step in ensuring that the campaign against ice is being fought in a coordinated, targeted and effective way.

In Wannon I have received many phone calls from concerned community groups, sporting clubs and individuals regarding the challenges ice is presenting to them locally. These calls further build on some of the terrible stories I have been hearing from police, health professionals and social services as they deal with the increasing impacts of ice said Mr Tehan.

Mr Tehan said that ice can and does undermine and impact our communities; it knows no boundaries with individuals from all levels of society succumbing to it. As a community we all need to address the issues together and I would encourage everyone to attend local ice forums.

The overall purpose of the Taskforce will be to examine all existing efforts to address ice and identify ways to take a systematic, comprehensive and coordinated approach to education, health and law enforcement.

Because the ice scourge affects the whole community, the Taskforce will consult widely to ensure that all aspects of this menace are being addressed.

Ice use is a growing problem across the country. It is ruining individuals, destroying families, and harming communities.

The Australian Crime Commission considers ice poses the highest risk of all illicit drugs to our nation. Sadly, more and more Australians are touched by the ice epidemic every day.

Following advice from the Taskforce the Commonwealth Government will be working with States and Territories to develop a National Ice Action Strategy to tackle the growing scourge of ice.

The Taskforce will provide an interim report to the Prime Minister by the middle of this year.

The Prime Minister will take the report to the first subsequent meeting of the Council of Australian Governments to ensure that the campaign against ice is fought in a coordinated, targeted and effective way.

People interested in submitting to the Taskforce should register with my office dan.tehan.mp@aph.gov.au or 1300131692.

Media contact: Cate Mercer-Grant 03 5572 1100 or 0408 564 232