First National Wastewater Drug Monitoring report welcome, Coulton
Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton welcomed the release of the first National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program Report which will change the way our nation fights the scourge of ice.
The Coalition Government provided the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) with a $3.6 million boost to detect ice hotspots, and collect data on drugs being used within our communities, following a recommendation by the National Ice Taskforce.
The analysis tested for methamphetamine, or ice, and 12 other illicit and licit substances including cocaine, MDMA, tobacco and alcohol at 51 sites across the country.
Mr Coulton said crimes relating to ice continue to be a concern for local police in Parkes Electorate, with strong links between those who commit drug offences and those committing other violent crimes.
“Drugs such as ice can have devastating consequences for entire communities, and putting a stop to it will require a whole of community response,” Mr Coulton said.
“I acknowledge that there is no “one size fits all” solution to tackling the scourge of ice in our community.
“I am also aware that the growing use of ice is not the only issue facing Western New South Wales. As well as developing a National Ice Action Strategy, the Commonwealth Government is also working towards developing an alcohol strategy.
“I often hear stories of drug and alcohol abuse going hand-in-hand and the devastating affects this combination has on people’s lives and the lives of those around them.
“I believe that by developing a National Ice Action Strategy, the Government will be able to go some way to address this devastation,” Mr Coulton said.
Minister Keenan said this new data will pinpoint targets for our law enforcement agencies so they can flush out the crooks responsible for this evil trade and protect the communities they are targeting.
“The results provide us with the greatest ever insight into what drugs are being consumed and where, with the covert testing covering 58 per cent of Australia’s population - about 14 million Australians,” Minister Keenan said.
“This is critical baseline data, the first of nine tests to be conducted over the next three years, which will ensure we can better target our law enforcement and health responses, and monitor their progress.”
The Coalition Government is investing almost $300 million to support actions resulting from the National Ice Action Strategy to improve treatment, after care, education, prevention and community engagement.
We are also tackling the supply of ice through increased international cooperation, enhanced intelligence sharing, better controls of precursor chemicals and greater efforts to prevent ice reaching our regional and remote communities.
• Methamphetamine, or ice, consumption in Western Australia and South Australia was higher than the national average, in both the capital cities and regional areas. High levels were also recorded in regional sites in Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania.
• Cocaine use was the highest in New South Wales, almost double the second highest jurisdiction the Northern Territory, in terms of doses consumed per day. The ACT recorded the third highest use.
• There is a high use of prescription medications fentanyl and oxycodone across all jurisdictions, particularly in regional Queensland, suggesting a potential diversion into the illicit market.
The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program Report is available at: https://www.acic.gov.au/publications/intelligence-products/national-wastewater-drug-monitoring-program-report