A Labor State Government would establish a dedicated ‘Ice Action Taskforce’ in its first 100 days in an attempt to tackle the crystal methamphetamine epidemic which has gripped regional areas across the state.
Making the fresh election promise yesterday, Labor also committed to introducing four new related offences including penalties for trafficking ice to school students, publishing or possessing instructions to manufacture ice and allowing use of premises for its manufacture or trafficking.
The announcement comes as the latest Victoria Police statistics showed the Latrobe Valley local government area experienced a 41.6 per cent jump in drug related crimes in the past financial year.
Labor candidate for Morwell Jadon Mintern said he would lobby to ensure a representative from the Latrobe Valley would hold a place on the taskforce.
“I have friends who are in circles where ice has become a big factor and it is starting to destroy their life and everything is falling down around them,” Mr Mintern said.
“We need to acknowledge this is an issue that is fast spinning out of the control of this State Government and Victoria Police.
“The reality is this is an addiction through which simply arresting someone is not going to break that habit, so it is crucial we properly involve health services and support agencies in this, otherwise we are not going to solve the problem.”