The Federal Government has released the final report and response to the National ICE Taskforce’s findings, which includes a $300 million investment to tackle the drug, its demand, its supply and the harm it causes.
Per capita, Australia is the largest user of methamphetamines, of which ICE is the most common form, than almost any other country in the world. It’s estimated that there are more than 200,000 ICE users in Australia.
While this is relatively low in percentage terms – approximately 1% of the population – the powerful effects of ICE means that the drug’s impact on the wider community are disproportionate to that of other drugs. This can be seen in places such as our roads, where ICE is in some way involved in 10% of all people killed and injured on our roads in Victoria alone (see ICE deaths on road a major concern).
In making the announcement, the Government declared that a lot of work has already been done in policing Australia’s borders and streets to combat supply. This has resulted in record busts and 26,000 arrests for possession or distribution.
The increased investment of almost $300 million over four years will be used primarily to tackle demand for ICE. This will include measures to improve treatment, care, education, prevention, support and community engagement.