Luke Foley hosts roundtable on ice epidemic at Parliament House

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NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley has today convened a roundtable at Parliament House where he was briefed by emergency and health workers about the impact of the ice epidemic.

Those in attendance included police officers, nurses and paramedics who are witnessing firsthand the impact of the drug across NSW – including in rural, regional and coastal communities.  

Mr Foley said today that it was important for him – along with Shadow Minister for Health Walt Secord – to hear how ice is affecting the ability of emergency responders to carry out their work.

“Ice is the 21st century heroin and we need a fresh approach to dealing with it before it destroys the lives of more of our kids. I talk to parents and they want a much sharper focus from the State Government on this matter,” Mr Foley said.

“The emergency responders I met with today are workers are at the forefront of a growing social problem, a drug that can turn ordinary individuals into violent and dangerous people.

“I have heard from them first-hand, recognising they are bearing the brunt of a failure of government to address this issue over a number of years.”

The representatives consulted today are members of the Last Drinks Coalition who have played a key role in campaigning for reforms to address alcohol related violence.

Mr Foley has already announced he will host a 21st century Drugs Summit as one of Labor’s first priorities if elected in March.

“We need a whole-of-government approach to the rise of new drugs like ice – and a Drugs Summit will produce evidence-based solutions that we can implement,” Mr Foley said.

“Bob Carr’s 1999 summit resulted in reforms such as the medically supervised Kings Cross injecting room. In the war against ice, the need for fresh thinking and fresh approaches has never been more urgent.  

“Labor will bring all the experts together and nobody will leave until we’ve come up with an action plan.

“I don’t want NSW to be the ice capital of Australia. Pursuing innovative solutions and preventing the destruction of lives will be a top priority of a Foley Labor Government.”