The Port Macquarie–Hastings, Manning and Macleay communities are receiving one of 40 new Local Drug Action Teams rolling out across the country to tackle drug use and harm.
The Mid North Coast Human Services Alliance will lead the community partnership of 15 organisations to deliver a targeted local response in the area to prevent and reduce the harms of ice and other drugs.
Federal Assistant Minister for Health and Member for Lyne, Dr David Gillespie, and Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister and Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, today met with the new Local Drug Action Team to speak with them about their working program for the region.
“The new Local Drug Action Team will receive $10,000 in Federal funding to deliver prevention activities to help reduce the impacts of drugs and alcohol in the community,” Dr Gillespie said.
“There will be a particular focus for this team to engage with young people to prevent alcohol and other drug related harm in the community.
“This partnership of health services, community groups and members of an existing Community Drug Action Team will also lead the community consultation to develop program firmly grounded in local needs.”
Minister Hartsuyker said one of the best ways to prevent and reduce the harms of drugs is through a community response.
“Community-led education and mentoring programs, early intervention and prevention programs and support for vulnerable people to minimise their risk of alcohol and other drug related harm are the programs we need to make a difference in our community and across Australia,” said Mr Hartsuyker.
“The Federal Coalition Government is investing $19.2 million for the program to establish 220 Local Drug Action Teams over the next three years.
“This is part of our government’s $298 million investment over four years to combat illicit drug and alcohol use through the National Ice Action Strategy.”
The roll out of Local Drug Action teams is a key action under the National Ice Action Strategy in response to the recommendations of the National Ice Taskforce, to increase community engagement and action to reduce the harms of drugs.
“We are also working hard to stop these drugs entering Australia and have provided significant investment in policing our borders and our streets to combat the supply of ice,” said Assistant Minister Hartsuyker.
The AFP has seized more than 12 tonnes of methamphetamine since January 2013. This included a 903kg haul of ice which was discovered in April this year – Australia’s largest ever methamphetamine seizure.
The first 40 Local Drug Action Teams rolled out in April this year and delivered local drug and alcohol forums for parents and students, mentoring and professional training for at-risk young people, school based reduction programs, and promoted the role of local sporting clubs.
This second round brings the total number of Local Drug Action Teams to 80.
Interested community groups can apply for the next application round, which opens in late 2017.
Information can be found on the Alcohol and Drug Foundation website www.adf.org.au/ldat.