JOINT MEDIA RELEASE: Continued funding to tackle scourge of methamphetamines

As part of our plan for a stronger future, the Liberal-National Government will extend the National Ice Action Strategy (NIAS), investing more than $343 million over four years in the ongoing fight to reduce the impact of ice, other drugs and alcohol.

This investment includes an additional $27.9 million being committed to support other critical drug and alcohol treatment projects in areas of identified need. 

The Government will invest around $830 million in alcohol and other drug treatment services and programs over the next four years.

Senator for the ACT, Zed Seselja, welcomed the announcement, and said the Government is increasing its efforts at every level to reduce the impact of drug and alcohol use on individuals, families, and communities.

“The Liberal-National Government’s investment into the National Ice Action Strategy for a further four years allows local organisations throughout Canberra, and across the country, to continue delivering innovative, community-based solutions to curb use of drugs such as methamphetamines,” Senator Seselja said.

“This is particularly important for high-risk population groups, including people in rural and regional areas and indigenous communities.”

“At the same time as the Liberal-National Government is working to protect our community from the scourge of these hard drugs, the ACT Labor-Green alliance are putting our community at risk through their reckless policy to decriminalise hard drugs,” Senator Seselja said. 

National wastewater drug monitoring shows methamphetamine use has reduced for the second consecutive year. And MDMA, cocaine and heroin consumption have all fallen. 

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt said while this was a good sign, there is still work to be done.

“For too many Australians, illegal drugs are still an insidious scourge on our community, robbing families of their loved ones,” Minister Hunt said. 

“The Liberal-National Government is committed to building safe and healthy communities, reducing the impacts and harms of drug and alcohol use for individuals, their families and their communities.”

Estimates from 2019 suggest that roughly 300,000 Australians used methamphetamines in the past 12 months, with over half of these using crystal methamphetamine, or ice.

The four most common drugs that people seek treatment for are alcohol (34%), amphetamines (28%), cannabis (18%), and heroin (5.1%).

Since its inception in 2016, the NIAS has helped thousands of people gain access to treatment programs and supported communities to tackle local drug and alcohol issues with local solutions.

By committing to the NIAS for a further four years, the Liberal-National Government is ensuring critical treatment and other programs are continued and improved.

For further details about the National Ice Action Strategy, visit the Department of Health website. 

[ENDS] 

 

The Hon. Greg Hunt MP 
Minister for Health and Aged Care

Senator the Hon. Zed Seselja 
Senator for the Australian Capital Territory