Premier Daniel Andrews and Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Mary-Anne Thomas were in Wangaratta today to announce a landmark $45.5 million Ice Action Plan to reduce the supply, demand and harm of a drug that’s ruining lives across regional Victoria.

Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas said that while ice use is “a complex problem, the Ice Action Plan deals with the things that cannot wait. It’s about supporting families, treating users and making our community safer”.

Under the Plan, the Government will invest $4.7 million to help families identify and manage ice users and $1 million to support frontline workers who are at risk of getting attacked at work.

The Government will invest $18 million to expand drug treatment and rehabilitation so users can get the help they needs and set up a dedicated Ice Help Line that directs families and health professionals to advice. This investment will focus on our rural and regional communities, where services are needed most.

Ms Thomas said the Plan also includes new measures to reduce the growing supply of ice on our streets.

“A $4.5 million plan to crack down on clandestine drug labs and tough new laws to stop dealers and manufacturers will make our community safer,” Ms Thomas said.

The Government will also invest $15 million for new drug and booze buses and a $500,000 state-wide fund to help community groups tackle ice use in their local area.

“It’s important we offer community groups the opportunity to play an active role in tackling this problem because often it’s locals who know best.” Ms Thomas said.

Ms Thomas said the Ice Action Plan also needed to be seen in the context of sky-rocketing youth unemployment over the last four years, particularly in regional areas.

“A stable job means a stable life, and the Andrews Labor Government is improving the prospects of young people at-risk people across Macedon with the $1 billion Back to Work Plan and the $320 million TAFE Rescue Fund”.

The work of the Premier’s Ice Action Taskforce will continue, with a long-term role to support the implementation of the Plan and advise the Government where more effort is needed.

Quotes attributable to Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews

“Across our state, good, smart kids are dropping out of school, running away from their families and falling out of society. Ice is ruining lives, and the time to act is now.”

“We’ll give users the treatment they need, we’ll give families the support they deserve and we’ll come down hard on the peddlers who put this substance on our streets.”