SIGNIFICANT gaps in methamphetamine treatment services were highlighted in a Victorian parliamentary inquiry in 2014.
The inquiry came to Wodonga in February and heard from drug experts, police officers and people who had been personally affected by ice.
When the final report was released seven months later, it noted there were “many barriers and challenges” facing treatment providers in regional areas.
It recommended better access to services and for local withdrawal beds to be made available for addicts.
Gateway Community Health had told the inquiry there were too few beds in the North East.
Inquiry member and Murray Valley MP Tim McCurdy said it was much harder to stop using ice than heroin.
“We need to work on the lack of beds in regional Victoria,” he said at the time. “It’s 30 to 90 days before you can get off ice.
“When a bed’s in use, it’s tied up for a lot longer time.”
Gateway counsellor Bill Wilson said there was an urgent need for a North East treatment centre.
There were also calls from federal Liberal MP and co-chairwoman of a national parliamentary drug law reform group Sharman Stone for a cross-border drug investigation unit.
Speaking ahead of a public meeting in Wodonga as part of the inquiry, Dr Stone called for a dedicated drug unit focused on region areas and for more detox facilities.
Days later, Albury police commander Supt Beth Stirton raised the idea of formal arrangements between Albury and Wodonga police to tackle the Border’s meth trade.
Supt Stirton raised the idea with NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione during his visit to Albury.