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afternoon, thanks for your company. We're breaking into our normal program to take you to Perth, where the Liberal seat for Canning where Andrew Hastie and Michael Keenan are speaking to the media.Just last week in Pinjarra, a frustrated shop owner told me how he's losing a week's wage in theft. I spoke to a father in Byford both who have sons struggling with ice. Just yesterday I was at the shopping centre at Armidale and spoke to a hairdresser whose shop and the newsagents adjacent to her had been ram raided, people looking for money to fund their ice or drug addiction. I've also spoken to recovering addicts who have told me about proper rehabilitation. One of the first conversations I had campaigning for this seat was with a young guy by the name of Andrew and he was full of passion about this issue of ice. He was a recovering clear
addict himself and made it clear that law enforcement isn't enough, it's got to be a community solution. Community leaders have told me about the impact on young people, how the bright futures of a generation of young people are being darkened by this insidious drug. I've spoken to many people, particularly in safe
Armidale who simply don't feel safe on our local streets. Ice is destroying lives and too many people are being hurt. We must act now. In the south Metropolitan Police district, which takes in much of Canning, there were 4,928 drug-related crimes in the year 2014-15. The statistics speak for themselves. I've got a real passion for this subject, because it's my belief that if we get across this problem a lot of other issues that affect Canning will take care of themselves. If we get across ice and we attack the problem and we help those people who are affected by it, families and individuals, I think we'll make for a much better community here in Canning. That's why today I've brought leaders and senior ministers together to help formulate a problem
better plan to attack this problem at a local level. I'd Minister for
like to thank the Federal Minister for Justice Michael Keenan, the State Minister for Police Lisa Harvey, the minister for Corrective Services Joe Francis, the Attorney-General and importantly Helen Morton the Minister for Mental Health who have offered crucial insight into this problem. Armidale CEO has offered an insightful local perspective on the issue of ice in Armidale and more broadly within Canning, so thank you very much for your time today. I intend to include all local governments in discussions about ice into the future. Being an MP is about doing whatever is required to get things done. It's about bringing people together. This issue is not just about throwing money at the problem. That's not how you fix something. It's about rolling up your sleeves and working closely together for a I
common goal. Just this morning I was over at Hope community centre and spoke with them in detail about the need for a community solution to this problem. By bringing these leaders and decisionmakers together I want to ensure that we're looking at this issue from every angle, not just law enforcement but also from a rehabilitation perspective, from a medical perspective, from local people's perspective, from all perspective s, because it's at the end of the day a local problem that needs to be resolved by the people of Canning, together as one. I'm using my background in defence as an army captain where I saw first-hand that bringing people together is the best way to try and fix a serious problem. In the army I worked with government departments and agencies, soldiers and their families, military leaders and foreign governments to solve complex problems. I want to use this experience to help lead our local community, working together to rid our community of this evil drug and its devastating consequences. This issue comes down to prevention, cure and punishment. Prevention, ensuring that there are enough local jobs and activities for young people who otherwise are dislocated and then find themselves experimenting with drugs. We need to give them purpose and work provides people with dignity. I want to ensure young people have opportunities for jobs so we keep them off the pathway to drug use. Cure, we need better rehabilitation for users. The human tragedy of this is enormous, not just for families, but for individuals whose lives are destroyed and changed because of this drug epidemic that is ice. Thirdly, punishment. Cracking down on drug manufacturers and dealers. These people need to be found and given tough sentences and deterred from reoffending. More police on the streets and ensuring they have the resources they need to deal with this destructive issue is absolutely paramount and I'll help police point of view even though I hope to be a Federal member of Parliament, I'll make sure I'll engage regularly with the Minister for Policing Lisa Harvey to make sure that police's views in this electorate are heard loud and clear. If I'm given the honour of being elected within 30 days I will implement a Canning Isaacs plan. I will call for expressions of interest from members of the community to be part of the Isaacs task force. I will be convening this regular meeting of ministers to discuss what we have learnt, what action has been taken and what action we intend to take into the future. We will solve this problem by working together as a coalition and as a community, not working in isolated and not working at cross-purposes. Some of the key elements will include firstly, the Canning ice action task force. I'll work with Julie Bishop, Michael Keenan, local police, ambulance, social workers, teachers and legal experts to help tackle the ice epidemic locally. Secondly, community forums - and this is crucial - I will get real community engagement through a series of forums. As I found out over the last few weeks the people of Canning have a loud voice and that needs to be heard and no more importantly on the subject of ice. If the people of Canning are behind this and they want this problem solved and I'm confident we can get across this and create a better future for people in this electorate. Finally, the dob in a dealer program. I want to promote the new dob in a dealer campaign, which asks community members to report people who are dealing illegal drugs and activity associated with drug Labs and distribution. If we create an environment where drug dealers and those who manufacture the drugs are unable to do their thing, because the people around them report them, that'll go a large part to stopping this ice epidemic. So in closing, I'm very passionate about this. I care about this. I know the people of Canning have spoken to me on numerous occasions over the last few weeks and I'm confident that together with Federal and State ministers as well as local leaders, we can get across this and thank you very much. I'll now hand over to the Minister for Justice Michael Keenan for a few remarks.Well, thank you, Andrew. It's good to join you here at the city of Armidale to hear your thoughts on what you are going to do if elected to tackle the scourge of ice within the Canning electorate. The Federal Government is very concerned about ice and over the past 12 months in particular, the harm that ice is doing in the community has been made very clear to us from a number of sources. The CEO of the Australian Crime Commission, our national criminal intelligence agency says that the pandemic of ice is very similar to the pandemic of crack cocaine in the US as it stands here in Australia at the moment. The high price we pay for ice means it is attracting the attention of criminal gangs who are literally coming to the Australian market from every corner of the globe. Iran, West Africa, Mexico because of the high price we pay here, the Australian ice market is like a honey pot for serious international criminals. We need to do something about it at a national level and we are doing something about it. We've asked the former chief plir in Victoria Ken Lay to advise the Prime Minister who will then take a national ice action strategy through COAG. The interim report has been discussed at the COAG meeting in July. We will expect a final report from the task force before the end of the year and that will form the basis of a new national strategy to help us tackle ice. On another and related matter, I just wanted to raise the issue that from today we are going to make it impossible for criminals to gain the system to import synthetic drugs which are synthetic versions of the actual drug themselves with a chemical composition altered in sometimes a very minor way and they're brought into Australia and they've essentially been gaming the system, being able to sell those versions of the drugs as synthetic, somehow real
legal and safe versions of the real thing. They are deeply unsafe. We've had even deaths resulting in these synthetic drugs. From today, border force officials have been empowered to seize those drugs. If you import them and don't have a legitimate use you can go to prison for up to five years and we'll be working and I have been working closely with my State colleague Lisa Harvey in particular about making sure there's complementary West Australian legislation to make sure we're having a national crackdown on these synthetic drugs. Finally, can I say it's been a great pleasure to hear from Andrew Hastie about his plans for the Canning electorate, but particularly the sorts of things he's been raising with us that he wants to do for a Canning ice action plan. Andrew, he's not a lawyer, he doesn't just talk, he's a soldier, he acts. We have been able to have significant input into his ice action strategy and if he becomes the member for Canning we'll talk to him about doing all we can to tackle the scourge of ice as have to
part of the national plans we have to deal with ice. Andrew, I'll hand back to you. Take it from here.Open up to questions now. REPORTER: The fact that you need a Canning ice action plan and you've had 5,000 drug-related crimes in the district, does that suggest that all the previous efforts to control, and all the plans to control the scourge of ice have failed? Not at all, and thanks for your question. It's good to see you again, as always. Not at all, but this is a problem that hasn't gone away and it needs another nudge and I want to be a leader in the local community that gives it another nudge. I know the colleagues to my left and right make
that I think we can actually make real progress. How can the community have assurance there will be action out of this? An action task force speaks nightly, it seems like it's out of the 'Utopia' TV series. How can people be assured there's results out of this? I'm about realism and I believe you've got to get out there and take action. Nothing is easy, but I'm confident we can get results and I think I'm full of optimism. I know the community really cares about this. I care about it. Colleagues to my left and right care about it. We're going to go out there and get the job done. Wait for the results. Give me a chance, wait for the results. Why is this going to be different from previous efforts?'Cause you're in charge? That's right, I think I bring something to the party. I've been overseas, worked on a number of complex issues and I'm confident that I can bring my experience to bear on this issue for the people of Canning. It seems ambitious, can you actually do what you're saying, you're saying let's get on the ground and do it, what are you going to do? As part of the plan I'm going to bring a bunch of stakeholders together as part of a task force. We're going to have engage
community forums which will engage with local people, local leaders and then together we'll move forward. You can talk about something, that doesn't necessarily solve the problem? That's right, and we need to work together. What are you suggesting, we do nothing? I'm all about action, I want to get something done. Just to clarify, is there any additional funding attached to this plan of yours today and if there's not, how are you expecting that things like rehab, which I think you listed under the cure could be given more attention given that federally there's been cuts to services which provide rehab such as Hope Community Services? With respect, that is absolute nonsense. There has not been cuts to drug and alcohol funding and we spend $80 million at the West Australian level on drug and alcohol counselling. That will clearly be an important part of the response. We expect that the national ice task force will make recommendations firstly in the law and order area. Everything we do needs to support the police response. Locking up the cooks who pedal in this misery will be our highest priority. We will have measures in health and education and we'll be doing all we can to make sure if you have gone down the dark path of addiction that help is available. Labor's promising funding to 2019 to Hope services saying that's needed rather than 6-12-month blocks of funding. Would you extend that give and give longer funding? That's a piecemeal approach to a significant national issue. We've had experts working on this. The former chief commissioner of Victoria working with health experts and we expect the task force will advise on a national approach as opposed to making a one-off ad hoc commitment to two particular services. How do drug rehab places plan for the future if they've only got 6 or 12-month funding? It doesn't come in 6-month batches. We have community funding that is longer than that. Clearly this is one of the things we will get advice on from the task force. That is going to be an important part of the solution that we have. Can I ask, on synthetic drugs, are you talking about synthetic cannabis? Synthetic cannabis is one example. That's considered to be quite a problem in Western Australia? There's lots of synthetic forms of drugs, synthetic cannabis and synthetic LSD. They change cannabis
the chemical composition of cannabis in a very minor way to form a substance that mirrors the effects and, of course, drug.
mirrors the harm of the actual drug. We've been playing a game of cat and mouse where a drug importer would seek to get that into the country and the way we stop substances coming into the country in the past was by chemical composition. When you alter the chemical composition we have to relist that drug. That is no longer going to be the case. If you want to import a substance into Australia from today you will need to explain to us -That is the Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan standing alongside the Liberal candidate, Andrew Hastie in Canning. Back shortly with