Over 100 Gold Coast residents attended a public forum at the Southport Community Centre last Thursday night, which addressed the prevalence and dangers of ice across Australia.
Founding Director of the Australian Anti Ice Campaign (AAIC) Andrea Simmons said the volunteer organisation is on a mission to educate the community about ice.
“People don’t know about ice, they don’t know what it looks like, they don’t what it does to you, they don’t know how it is taken… so we made it our business to let them know,” Ms Simmons said.
“We have seen a 58% rise this year of ice in Australia…we have people call our office probably weekly if not daily saying, ‘my son’s on ice I don’t know what to do?’ There is a lot of resources on the internet but they are lost, and they need people in the community to know what to do and how to help.”
“Our community needs to take action, they need to unite and put the freeze on ice… because if we can reduce demand, we can reduce production,” she said.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said education and enforcement are key in combatting this highly addictive drug that is destroying lives and families.
“No one can win this war in isolation… it takes unity at all levels – local, State and Federal – as well as strong education of people about the effects of ice,” Mr Tate said.
“We (the Gold Coast City Council) have strongly supported our valued police through the establishment of the Mayoral Safer Suburbs Forum. This brings together all agencies that have a common interest – that is, making our community safer. I have also strongly supported the Queensland Police Service through calling for the continuation of the VLAD Laws that target illegal crime organisations.”
“Australia as a whole has an issue with this evil drug… I applaud AAIC for their efforts and believe young people are rapidly learning the dangers of even trying this drug,” he said.
State Member for Surfers Paradise and Shadow Minister for Health and Ambulance Services and the Commonwealth Games John-Paul Langbroek said the issue of ice addiction on the Gold Coast affects the social fabric of our society.
“Within my electorate we are seeing reports of drug possession and production, not only in the entertainment precincts, but increasingly, in our suburban areas,” Mr Langbroek said.
“As the former Education Minister, I know that education plays an important role in equipping local students with the life skills they need to reduce the initial choice to start drug use…it is imperative that the Government takes decisive action, by sending a strong message that drugs and distributers of drugs are not welcome in our community.”
“It is clear that as ice usage in Queensland increases, non-Government organisations perform an important role in informing the community of the dangers of consuming drugs, with some offering support to those who have been affected,” he said.
The Australian Anti Ice Campaign are planning to hold a public forum next month in Burleigh Heads.