Inquiry hears of lethal ice impact

The “destructive” impact of the street drug ice on the Latrobe Valley community was the main topic at the Traralgon sitting of a Parliamentary Inquiry into methamphetamine supply and use this week.

State Member for Western Victoria Region and committee chair Simon Ramsay said the committee heard from local police, health service providers, Latrobe Regional Hospital, paramedics and drug agencies during the sitting on Tuesday.

“Certainly the evidence given to the committee was that ‘yes, ice is a problem in east Gippsland’ and the problem seems to exist in different classes and demographics… using for different reasons,” Mr Ramsay said.

“There’s no doubt the drug is killing people and ruining families.”

Mr Ramsay said it was important to investigate ice use and supply thoroughly and provide recommendations to make people more aware of the consequence of using the drug, as well as correcting perceptions of the drug’s so-called benefits.

“Society should be aware it’s not a party drug – it’s a killer drug,” Mr Ramsay said.

“We need to explain to young people… in years seven and eight that this is a lethal drug and it is ruining lives right across Victoria and Australia.”

The committee’s report and recommendations will be tabled in State Parliament at the end of July, with the government required to respond within six months.

Mr Ramsay said the recommendations would provide the government with a possible strategy to address methamphetamine use and associated crime.