Hogan welcomes Ice Taskforce

PAGE MP Kevin Hogan has welcomed the establishment of an Ice Taskforce as the first step in a "whole of Government' approach to fighting the damaging Ice usage in Australia.

"This is a very important first step in developing a National Ice Action Strategy to tackle what is fast becoming a major health, social and law enforcement issue in regional Australia," Mr Hogan said.

"The rapid spread of Ice in our community is something that I have been concerned about for some time and I have been talking with my Ministerial colleagues including Justice, Health, Education and Social Services about the need to tackle Ice head on."

"Just last week I invited the Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash to our region to discuss the problem with our local police.

Read more: Addict's story: How I survived a $1200-a-day ice habit

Senator Nash and Justice Minister Michael Keenan will oversee the Taskforce and lead the Government's response to the spread of Ice.

The Taskforce will be led by Ken Lay APM who, until recently, was the Victoria Police Chief Commissioner.

"The purpose of the Taskforce will be to examine efforts to address Ice and identify ways to take a systematic, comprehensive and coordinated approach to education, health and law enforcement," Mr Hogan said.

"Because the Ice scourge affects the whole community, the Taskforce will consult widely to ensure that all aspects of this menace are being addressed.

"Governments at all levels are taking steps to address Ice but these efforts need to be targeted, efficient and effective. While these initiatives are being rolled out at the local, state and territory level, there is a role for the Federal Government to assist in coordinating and assessing their effectiveness in addressing the ice epidemic."

The Taskforce will provide an interim report to the Government by the middle of the year.