MP concerned meth becoming more available in rural areas

FEDERAL Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd has spoken out against the spread of methamphetamine in Queensland after the release today of a new report by the Australian Crime Commission.

The report argues that Australia is becoming a lucrative marketplace for the manufacture and importation of methamphetamine, with illicit drug users paying a premium price for most illegal drugs compared to prices in key foreign markets.

"We know that Ice is an insidious drug that has widespread use across Australia," Mr O'Dowd says.

"Sadly, too many people have a story to tell about how the drug has destroyed a family, a friend, a colleague, or how it's had shocking impacts on a community."

The ACC report was released by the Federal Government to raise awareness of the effects the drug can have on communities, and it is the first unclassified intelligence picture of the threat posed by methamphetamine to Australians.

"I'm very concerned that the drug is becoming more available in regional and rural communities, when previously there wasn't a problem," Mr O'Dowd says.

"The fight against Ice is for everyone, and I know there's a serious problem in Queensland."

Queensland is among four states, including New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia, to implement National Anti-Gangs Squads as part of the Australian Government's $74 million program to combat criminal gangs involved in the trade of illicit substances.

"We have control mechanisms in place to limit the spread of Ice and other illegal drugs, and this program has my full support," Mr O'Dowd says.

Over the past two years, the Australian Federal Police has seized seven tonnes of methamphetamine, with an estimated street value of over $4 billion.

The Government has committed to working further with law enforcement to ensure they have the tools they need to combat the spread of Ice in Australia.



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