FILE

The plan to tackle regional Qld's ice epidemic

MILLIONS will be spent to combat the spread of the drug ice throughout regional Queensland under a comprehensive new plan.

The Queensland Government's $105 million Action on Ice plan for the first time lays out Labor's government-wide plan to hold back the drug's spread.

The plan comes after News Regional newspapers, of which this paper is one, called for more action to be taken to combat the drug as part of the Fair Go For Our Kids campaign during the election.

The campaign revealed a higher proportion of regional and rural 18-24 year olds were using meth, including speed and ice, than in capital cities.

The opposition welcomed the new plan but LNP leader Deb Frecklington said it lacked support for extra rehab and detox facilities - a key platform this paper called for.

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Health Minister Steven Miles said the government was committed to reducing access to the drug, cracking down on criminals distributing it and helping those in the community it had impacted.

"The plan is aimed at reducing supply of ice, reducing the demand of ice and reducing the harms and effects of ice use,” he said.

"Prevention and treatment are integral to managing the impact of the ice crisis in Queensland.

"Action on Ice is a whole of government plan informed by feedback from the public, health and welfare professionals, families and friends who have seen their loved ones affected by ice and people with lived experience.”

The plan includes already announced commitments such as a $14.3 million rehabilitation centre in Rockhampton, increasing family support services in regional areas and instructing police to perform an extra 12,500 roadside drug tests.

Ms Frecklington said ending the ice epidemic needed to be a bipartisan issue.

"The LNP welcomes any action to tackle the ice epidemic in Queensland that is tearing families apart and infecting our communities,” she said.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk has been dragged kicking and screaming to do something about the ice scourge in our community.

"It's clear that Labor's plan ignores the need for more rehab and detox facilities.

"Premier Palaszczuk needs to put these initiatives into action as soon as possible to support families struggling with addiction.” - NewsRegional


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