A PARLIAMENTARY inquiry into the drug ice will give North East people a chance to say “enough is enough” to a drug damaging generations and driving crime.
A Victorian inquiry into methamphetamine, particularly ice, was announced last week and the committee will examine the prevalence and effects of ice in regional areas and make recommendations to the government.
Member for Benambra Bill Tilley said this was ad opportunity for all those addicted, their families and health workers to effect a change.
“If there’s anybody in this community that knows the effects, even people that are affected by a family member that has an addiction, to offer to the committee to make strong recommendations,” Mr Tilley said.
“If they’ve got the strength to say enough is enough, go and spend that time, it’s valuable giving evidence to these committees.”
People needed to be prepared to give evidence but it could be done under parliamentary privilege and the public gallery excluded.
Wodonga police Inspector Tony Davis said any inquiry that examined the full impact of the drug was welcomed.
“It’s particularly pleasing to see a focus on rural areas,” Inspector Davis said.
“Ice is an insidious drug which has detrimental effects on many people and the use of it is a direct driver of crime.
“You could argue, given the close nature of rural areas, that the effects of ice are amplified.”
Police have known the drug was being manufactured on the Border since late last year after detection rates increased in the past two years.
Crime statistics released last month showed a 61 per cent rise in drug offences in Wodonga and police highlighted ice as a major driver.
“The ice epidemic is a terrible thing,” Detective Sen-Sgt Barry McIntosh said at the time.
“There will be damage to a generation of young people.”
The Law Reform, Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee, which will run the inquiry, meets for the first time on Monday.
Its terms of reference include examining supply, distribution, prevalence of use, links with crime, consequences of use and its relationship to other drugs.