Gippsland will receive $2.87 million for local drug and alcohol rehabilitation services as part of a
re-elected Coalition Government’s plan to combat the scourge of ice in communities.

The funding will support local rehabilitation services to help get addicts off ice, out of the drug
market, and reduce addict-based crime.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester and Liberal Member for McMillan Russell
Broadbent have welcomed the funding, included in the 2016/17 Budget, which will help to combat
the devastating impact that ice is having across the region.

“Ice is ruining lives, devastating families and does not discriminate,” Mr Chester said.

“This money will provide much-needed services to people in our region that are grappling with ice
addiction and substance misuse.

“Many of us personally know families in our community who are dealing with the fallout of this
insidious drug and many are concerned about a lack of available treatment and rehab services.”

While treatment delivery is traditionally the responsibility of state governments, Mr Broadbent
said the Federal Coalition Government has recognised the urgency of this situation and acted.

“The funding for local services is part of the Coalition Government’s response to the National Ice
Taskforce report, which was handed down in December last year,” Mr Broadbent said.

“The Gippsland Primary Health Network, which covers Wonthaggi to Mallacoota, will be
responsible for commissioning services with the funding, which will flow from July 1.”

Mr Broadbent said the Gippsland PHN was already working to identify new strategies with the
additional funding.

“This funding is designed to respond to the gaps in current drug treatment services, and
encourage all government and health networks to collaborate to provide a whole of system
approach to treating ice addition,” he said.

Minister for Rural Health Fiona Nash said it was clear that we cannot simply “arrest our way out of
this problem”.

“Police everywhere are doing a great job and making record numbers of busts,” Minister Nash
said.

“Police and the National Ice Taskforce have recommended we also focus on reducing demand.

“If we want to break the drug dealer’s business model, we have to smash the demand for their
terrible product and this funding will help to do just that.”

In addition to funding for rehabilitation services, local volunteer groups will soon be able to access
grants from the Federal Government to deliver local education and prevention programmes across
the community.

The Coalition is also providing support to more than 1,200 community sporting clubs to deliver
prevention messages about ice with a focus on regional Australia.

These programmes are part of the Coalition Government’s comprehensive $300m plan to tackle
ice across Australia.