‘Ice’ workshop brings experts together in Gympie next week

ICE, the drug everyone is warning us about, will be the subject of a Gympie region community forum on Wednesday afternoon.

And, unlike many other drugs, ice is a creature of the regions.

Speaking at Kybong Hall in April, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Gympie would be one of Australia's important battlegrounds in his government's war on "the most dangerous illegal drug we have ever seen."

He said the drug was almost uniquely focused on regional Australia, where it is often manufactured.

Police, community workers, health workers, emergency and youth workers will join ordinary members of the community concerned about the issue at a special Ice in Gympie workshop, at the Civic Centre from 1.30pm to 4.30pm.

Gympie emergency doctor Stephen Priestly is the public face of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's campaign against the drug.

He will be an important speaker at the forum, telling of his alarming experiences with ice victims (and the victims of their violence and madness), in his role as director of emergency medicine for Gympie's Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service.

Other speakers will include Gympie's Police Central Region detective acting superintendent Bruce McNab, Mental Health and Addiction Services dual diagnosis co-ordinator Terry Jacobs, Victory Care Services' Kevin Dailey, Drug Arm counsellor John Omond and Community Action youth support worker David Allard.

The workshop, a response to Mr Abbott's National Taskforce on Ice, is supported by Medicare Local and Gympie Regional Council.

Mr Abbott told The Gympie Times at Kybong Hall, "The gangs that we believe are behind the ice trade are particularly targeting regional Australia.

"It is an awful, evil drug," he said.

Gympie Times

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