The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council has expressed concern over whether the state government will continue to work alongside them to combat ice, or crystal methamphetamine.
By
Jodan Perry

Source:
NITV News
21 Sep 2015 - 4:51 PM  UPDATED 21 Sep 2015 - 6:25 PM

TRANSCRIPT

Natalie Ahmat: The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council has expressed concern over whether the State government will continue to work alongside them to combat ice.... or crystal methamphetamine.

RELATED STORY
Indigenous ‘ice’ taskforce searches for solutions to epidemic in Queensland
The Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 'ice' roundtable met in Brisbane on Thursday to develop a state-wide response to growing 'ice' use and its effects on Indigenous families and communities.

The Council recently co-hosted a roundtable in Brisbane, and then forwarded the outcomes of that meeting to the government, to which they are still awaiting a reply.

Queensland Correspondent Jodan Perry has more.

Jodan Perry:  The Palaszcuk Government will immediately begin the rollout of a $6 million plan to tackle the drug Ice in Queensland.

These include five new rehabilitation, treatment and outreach services in Cooktown, Gold Coast, Rockhampton, Charleville and Cunnamulla.

Two new Drug and Alcohol Brief Intervention Teams will also be employed in the Emergency Departments at the Logan and Townsville Hospitals.

"The challenge is you can't put a detoxification facility in every community"

Cameron Dick, Queensland Health Minister: Ice is a major problem throughout queensland. There's been a growth in the use of ice.

The challenge is you can't put a detoxification facility in every community.

The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council co-hosted a state-wide ice roundtable on September 11, and says it was a step in the right direction.

"We are hoping that, as organisations that are at the coalface in these communities, that the Queensland Government will be working with us"

Matthew Cooke, CEO Queensland Aboriginal and Island Health Council: It was about defining a pathway forward, in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders respond to the growth of ice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The company has been working in consultation with the Queensland Government over the problem and is hopeful that arrangement will continue.

Matthew Cooke: We haven't heard back yet from the minister, in regard to our proposal, we are eagerly awaiting.

We see their annoucement that discusses a $6 million investment in Queensland, and we are hoping that, as organisations that are at the coalface in these communities, that the Queensland Government will be working with us.

We call upon both the premier and the minister to acknowledge the key role that the community-controlled health sector and alcohol and drug sectors can play in the state of Queensland. 

The premier has said that Indigenous communities are especially vulnerable to substance abuse and that this is just the first tranche of the government's response.

So the question is: Will they factor in the outcomes from the roundtable when developing future plans?

Matthew Cooke: With ice becoming an issue in our communities...we need to use those organisations that work, our community-controlled health organisations, and alcohol and drug substance misuse organisations are best placed, as they have a relationship and a culturally appropriate relationship with Aboriginal people in Queensland. 

The premier has also launched a discussion paper called Ways to Combat Ice Addiction in Queensland and the public has six weeks to make submissions.

Jodan Perry for NITV News.