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   May 21

Dubbo’s ice issues are far from over: Lynn Field

THE National Ice Taskforce has wrapped up its community consultations, but a solution to the region’s ice woes may still be a while off, according to Nguumambiny Indigenous Corporation CEO Manager Lynn Field. Breaking the iceTHE National Ice Taskforce has wrapped up its community consultations, but a solution to the region’s ice woes may still be a while off, according to Nguumambiny Indigenous Corporation CEO Manager Lynn Field.
Nanjing Night Net

Taskforce members spent eight weeks meeting with stakeholders in communities across Australia, including a visit to Dubbo in May, and finalised the process on Friday.

A report will be provided to Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the coming weeks, with a National Ice Action Strategy to be developed alongside the states and territories by the end of the year.

But Mrs Field, who works closely with those affected by drugs, feared implementing a solution would be easier said than done.

“I’m not confident, unfortunately. While the problem is Australia-wide, the states are responsible for the implementation of it and the federal government has only come in because the states haven’t dealt with it,” Mrs Field said.

“The problem with drug addiction of any sort – people are taking ice to feel numb. They’re not taking it to get a buzz. This is an awful reflection of our society, when people are taking drugs so they don’t feel, because they can’t cope with what‘s going on in their life.”

“Drug addiction means that there’s life skills issues – you don’t take drugs without a reason. There’s community services that could assist in some way, then you have the health side of it that could deal with the detox bit and we have the police who are attempting to slow the flow of the drugs in the area and get the dealers off the street – it needs to be a three-pronged process. Justice, health and community services need to work together, but everybody is so busy trying to own it that nobody’s prepared to work with each other to get the solution.”

Taskforce lead Ken Lay said the need for more services in rural areas became apparent during the consultations.

“There’s a real thirst for better treatment for people that are affected by ice,” Mr Lay said.

“At many of the rural consultations we heard of people with addictions that needed help having to travel hundreds and hundreds of kilometres to get into detox facilities or rehab facilities.”

Mrs Field has a client based in Warren who was on an intensive corrections order which requires him to undergo rehabilitation.

“This gentleman at Warren has a job, has a family, but he has to go into rehab. If we had a rehab here that would make his life so much easier,” she said.

“It’s beyond comprehension that the need for a rehab can be ignored in this area. We service so many areas, I mean people who get pregnant in Walgett have to travel to Dubbo to give birth.”

“This is where we need it. [But] I understand if anyone got a rehab that needed it, we’d be putting them up like windfarms.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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