$2.87m to break ice trade

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The Gippsland Primary Health Network will receive $2.87 million in funding next month to tackle the devastating impact of ice across the region.

The funding would support local drug and alcohol rehabilitation services within the McMillan electorate and would be invested to reduce the demand for ice and addict-based crime from 1 July.

The Gippsland Primary Health Network will allocate the funding to various local services within the region.

Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent, who announced the election commitment on Friday morning at My Place, said the money would assist drug abusers in seeking treatment.

“Ice is ruining lives, destroying communities and does not discriminate,“ Mr Broadbent said.

“This money will provide much-needed services to people in our region who are grappling with ice addiction and substance misuse.

“I have spoken to countless families across our community who are dealing with the fallout of this insidious drug, many of whom are concerned about a lack of available treatment and rehab services.”

While treatment delivery is traditionally a state responsibility, the Federal Government has recognised the urgency of ice abuse, he said.

Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge said the funding for local services was part of the Federal Government’s $300 million response to the National Ice Taskforce report released in December.

“Police and the National Ice Taskforce have recommended we also focus on reducing demand,“ Mr Tudge said.

“If we want to break the drug dealers’ business model, we have to reduce the demand for their terrible product and this funding will help to do just that.”

In addition to funding rehabilitation services, local volunteer groups would also be able to access grants from the Federal Government to deliver local education and prevention programs across the community.

The Coalition will also support more than 1200 community sporting clubs to deliver prevention messages about ice.

Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.

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About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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