Regional ice plague spreading
REGIONAL Queensland risks losing a generation to the ice epidemic unless politicians put their differences aside and act now to address the problem, according to LNP leader and western Gympie MP Deb Frecklington.
"This issue is above politics. People's lives are at stake," Mrs Frecklington said.
She warned that whole communities were under threat across the state.
Writing in The Sunday Mail, she called for Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to act now to implement her party's plan to contain, manage and ultimately eliminate the problem.
The Nanango MP, whose electorate includes much of Gympie's western districts from Woolooga to Goomeri, said the ice plague was especially serious in many smaller regional and rural communities.
"Ice continues to damage towns such as Roma, St George, Maryborough and Bundaberg," she said.
"Little wonder the Warrego and Bruce are known as the ice highways," she said.
The drug had become a problem for whole communities and not only for users.
"In my electorate, cars get stolen and people get robbed, just so users can feed their habit," Mrs Frecklington said.
"Ice has infiltrated our small towns and cities, it is destroying families and attacking the very soul and fabric of our community.
"There is a thing called 'ice rage', where people - often previously law-abiding citizens - lose control.
"And what's worse, they have no idea or sense of what they are doing.
"I remember reading about a letter written by a little girl to a judge, begging him to forgive her dad for stabbing to death his best friend during an 'ice rage'.
"There is nothing more heartbreaking than when a person from my community reaches out to tell me how ice has devastated their family, extended family and livelihood.
"It is tearing apart the fabric of regional communities right across Queensland.
"Addicts talk about how it is worse than heroin, worse than cocaine and much worse than marijuana.
"Police talk about how addictive it is and how the crooks provide free samples to get people hooked, and families talk about how they are lost and how it is ripping them apart.
"One thing is for sure, this drug is hideous and we are in grave danger of losing a whole generation to it.
"The major drug dealers deliberately target regional Queensland towns as they're easy pickings.
"In many parts of regional Queensland, youth unemployment is at crisis levels.
"This is fertile territory for ice and, once it gets a foothold, it spreads like wildfire."