Tackling The Ice Epidemic

by Ted Sorensen
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The Problem:-

ICE use across Queensland – particularly in regional and remote communities – has skyrocketed in recent years.
Organised crime gangs who supply the drug know they can run it through our regional communities easier because it’s harder to contain.
There are fewer police numbers over a larger geographic area and there is significant economic disadvantage – such as high unemployment – so the market is there.
In early 2017, Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor released a draft strategy and almost a year later there is still no plan to deal with the ICE epidemic in Queensland.
There has been too much talk and not enough action from Labor.

Our Record:-

The LNP has a solid record of tackling drug use in Queensland, with measures such as more policing, stronger penalties and supporting addiction treatment services that work. In government, the LNP:
• Recruited almost 900 additional police officers on the frontline
• Implemented strong criminal law reforms, including:
• new drug trafficking declarations aimed at stripping convicted drug peddlers of their assets
• a new offence of trafficking substances used to manufacture dangerous drugs
• new laws requiring drug traffickers to serve a mandatory minimum 80 per cent of their sentence
• ensuring laws kept pace with developments in the manufacture and supply of dangerous drugs, and
• increasing the maximum penalty for supplying a dangerous drug to a child under 16 years.
• Tackled criminal gangs head on through Taskforce Maxima, allocated extra resources for the Crime and Corruption Commission and introduced tougher laws to drive the gangs out of the state, and
• Provided $3.4 million for a Queensland Illicit Drug Diversion Initiative and $5.5 million targeted at helping at-risk population groups including young rural and remote Queenslanders.

The LNP’s action resulted in dramatically reduced crime rates across Queensland.

Our Real Plan:- 

Queenslanders can’t afford to wait another three years for a comprehensive and targeted plan that deals with the ICE epidemic that has spread across the state.
The LNP has a comprehensive response, based on the National Ice Action Strategy and we are calling for a bipartisan approach to this issue by Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor:
• Increased Treatment Services ($31.71 million), Committing $29.71 million to operate four new regional drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres in North Queensland, Wide Bay, Toowoomba and Sunshine Coast and a dedicated youth rehabilitation service, over four years from 2018, with additional detox facilities across the state, and appointing a $2 million dedicated treatment team to provide additional addiction service in remote indigenous communities.
• Education and Awareness ($2.5 million) Implementing a $2 million state-wide education and awareness campaign, with a specific focus on identified high-risk communities and demographics, and Establishing a $500,000 campaign partnering with high-risk industries including hospitality, construction and manufacturing to provide material for worksites and workplaces.
• Targeted Prevention ($3.5 million) Supporting the NRL’s Community Health Program with a $2 million investment focusing on indigenous Queenslanders and at-risk males aged 18-35, with a mental health prevention and drug awareness campaign at more than 400 community clubs across Queensland.  Boosting prevention services in Southeast Queensland, partnering with Lives Lived Well, providing a $1.5 million grant aimed at high-risk demographics.
• Improved Rehabilitation ($2 million) Instigating a $2 million vocational training program to help rehabilitated addicts’ upskill and get a job. Funding will be allocated over three years and tendered out to providers who can offer local programs in high-risk communities.
• Focused Law Enforcement ($10 million) Launching a dedicated $8 million police ICE Taskforce, with increased cooperation with the Australian Federal Police and Border Force Patrol to restrict supply through joint enforcement operations and a crackdown on organised crime manufacturing and distribution.  Providing an additional $2 million for the drug detective squads to focus on improved detection and prosecution briefs for court.
• Better Research and Data ($1.5 million) Establishing a $1.5 million joint Crime and Corruption Commission/Queensland Health research project to ensure government policy is informed by emerging trends and that the focus in on high-risk communities and demographics.
• Dob in a Dealer ($1 million) Providing $1 million to encourage the community to report information to Crime Stoppers Queensland.
• Keeping Bikie Clubhouses Closed.  The LNP has the proven track record of closing down criminal bikie gang clubhouses and we will restore the laws needed to keep them shut.

While Labor only talks about developing a plan to deal with the issue, the LNP will deliver real action and positive solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the link between organised crime and drugs in Queensland?  The Queensland Organised Crime Commission of Inquiry reported police intelligence revealing that 76 per cent of identified organised crime networks were involved in the illicit drug market, with 51 per cent linked to methylamphetamine.  It also found the use of crystal
methylamphetamine (ICE) has dramatically increased in Queensland, resulting in fatalities and violence, reflecting the drug’s highly addictive properties.

Has the Dob in a Dealer campaign been a success before?  Yes. In just the first few months of a similar program funded by the Commonwealth Government, Crime Stoppers received 2135 reports and 185 offenders were arrested on 644 charges.

How will the LNP increase prevention?  We will partner with sporting bodies at local, state and national levels to target at-risk groups such as males aged 18-35 and remote indigenous communities.

Why is it important for state and federal law enforcement agencies to work together?  Many of the organised crime rings that manufacture illicit drugs operate across state and international borders.  Strong cooperation between state and federal law enforcement agencies is the only way to ensure that a comprehensive stop, search and detain regime is in place to stop illicit drugs being peddled to our kids.

Why is it important to keep bikie clubhouses closed?  The LNP implemented a strong plan to tackle criminal gangs, closing 41 criminal bikie gang clubhouses overnight.   We acted because of Labor’s failed Criminal Organisation Act 2009 which resulted in NO gangs being declared.  Labor also can’t guarantee that under their plan to weaken the criminal gang laws that bikie clubhouses will stay closed.  Bikie clubhouses are a key component in the distribution network of illegal drugs such as ICE.

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