Nationals Candidate for Lismore Austin Curtin has welcomed an announcement by Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Health Brad Hazzard to establish a Special Commission of Inquiry into ice (crystal methamphetamine).

Mr Curtin said this issue is extremely important for the Lismore electorate as crime numbers indicate a rise in drug-related offences.

“During 2017-18 reporting period there were 267 people charged with the possession and/or use of amphetamines in the Richmond-Tweed Police District,”

“Ice is a destructive drug that is ruining too many lives across NSW and it is worrying to see a 12% increase in the possession and use over the past 5 years.”

“This drug is destroying families and killing people across the state.”

“It is crucial the Government understands every option to combat the evolving threat of this dangerous, illegal drug – and to outline methods to help those who need it.”

The Special Commission of Inquiry will inquire into, and report on:

  • the nature, prevalence and impact of ice in NSW;
  • the adequacy of existing measures to tackle ice in NSW; and
  • options to strengthen NSW’s response to ice, including law enforcement, education and treatment/rehabilitation responses.

The establishment of this inquiry comes on top of the extensive measures implemented by the NSW Government to tackle ice, including:

  • improving the ability of Police to confiscate the assets of serious criminals, including drug dealers and traffickers;
  • tightening controls on pseudoephedrine – one of the main precursors used to make ice; and
  • cracking down on drug driving by more than tripling the number of roadside drug tests in 2016-17, increasing to 200,000 roadside drug tests per year by 2020.