- The McGowan Government will invest an extra $42.5 million towards its Methamphetamine Action Plan (MAP)
- Whole-of-government, full response to the MAP Taskforce report is delivered
- Investment will provide increased support for individuals and families in crisis
- Funding for initiatives that focus on more help when and where it is needed, more workers to provide support and more education, prevention and harm reduction
The McGowan Labor Government is getting on with the job of delivering its co-ordinated and integrated Methamphetamine Action Plan, bringing the total investment to $244.8 million to address methamphetamine issues in Western Australia, since taking office.
Premier Mark McGowan, Health and Mental Health Minister Roger Cook and Police Minister Michelle Roberts today released the whole-of-government response to the Meth Action Plan Taskforce report - outlining a range of targeted, functional and practical initiatives that focus on prevention, early intervention, treatment and support, and law enforcement.
The $42.5 million package, as part of the 2019-20 State Budget that will form the implementation plan in response to the report, includes:
- More support for individuals and families in crisis - to expand and develop safe places for individuals and families in crisis.
- More help when and where it is needed - to provide more services where people require them, close to their homes and personal supports.
- More workers to provide support - to provide evidence-based training for health professionals working with people impacted by methamphetamine use and their families.
- More education, prevention and harm reduction - to ensure the continuation of targeted school and public education programs to reduce the uptake of methamphetamine use amongst young people, and encourage access to support for people at risk.
Additional Meth Action Plan initiatives as part of the $42.5 million package will include:
- $4.83 million to establish a 10-bed crisis centre in Midland;
- $200,000 towards planning for short-term safe places for compulsory critical intervention;
- $200,000 to plan for the expansion of the award-winning Mental Health Police Co-Response model to regional areas and to include support for alcohol and other drug issues;
- $9.2 million towards the development of a comprehensive alcohol and other drug youth service in the Kimberley - fulfilling an election commitment;
- $2.34 million for four low medical withdrawal beds in the Kimberley;
- $631,000 to expand the existing Transitional Housing and Support Program, which will assist an additional 20 people each year;
- $20.1 million towards the North West Drug and Alcohol Support Program;
- $914,000 for alcohol and other drug training for Aboriginal workers through the Strong Spirit Strong Mind program;
- $614,000 towards alcohol and other drug training for frontline workers such as psychologists, social workers and counsellors;
- $457,000 for the Meth Peer Education Program which focuses on harm reduction and health promotion;
- $1.05 million for alcohol and other drug education programs in schools with a focus on at-risk students;
- $1.52 million to expand the needle syringe exchange program in high-demand regional areas including the Great Southern and Bunbury;
- $300,000 to expand the Hepatitis WA nurse-led program which supports GPs to provide brief interventions to meth users; and
- $150,000 towards raising awareness of the community Needle Syringe Exchange Programs.
The McGowan Government has also invested an additional $21.2 million to the WA Police Force for the Meth Border Force which has led to record seizures and the disruption of criminal syndicates moving meth around the State.
Initiatives already underway as part of the Government's Meth Action Plan include increased police roadside testing, additional treatment beds across the State, the introduction of mental health emergency centres, expanding the Mental Health Police Co-Response teams to four districts in Perth, delivery of WA's first alcohol and other drug treatment prison - with a second facility in progress - and it has also introduced the toughest penalties in Australia for meth traffickers.
The Meth Action Plan Taskforce was commissioned by the McGowan Government to provide advice and recommendations on what more could be done to reduce methamphetamine demand, supply and harm. The taskforce's report made 57 recommendations and highlighted the need for improved responses to the methamphetamine crisis in the community.
The whole-of-government full response to the recommendations of the Meth Action Plan Taskforce report can be downloaded from https://www.dpc.wa.gov.au/ProjectsandSpecialEvents/MAPTaskforce/Pages/default.aspx
For free help, contact the Alcohol and Drug Support Line on 9442 5000 or 1800 653 203 (country).
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"My Government puts community safety as a priority and that's why we continue to invest heavily into implementing our integrated, targeted and outcome-driven Meth Action Plan.
"Already we've pushed on with delivering important initiatives, across Western Australia, that are about reducing demand, supply and harm.
"The next steps for us across the whole of government is to resource and implement the initiatives methodically, focussing on prevention, early intervention, treatment and support, and law enforcement."
Comments attributed to Health and Mental Health Minister Roger Cook:
"The McGowan Government is implementing a range of initiatives with a strong focus on more support for individuals and families. A new 10-bed crisis centre in Midland aligns with our vision to provide more help where and when it's needed.
"Most of us have seen the harms and ill-effects methamphetamine use has on families and our community. Our continued commitment to the Methamphetamine Action Plan and the fulfilment of the supported recommendations of the taskforce report will help make Western Australia a healthier and safer place."
Comments attributed to Police Minister Michelle Roberts:
"We've invested $125.9 million in our Meth Border Force, with an additional 100 police and 20 professional staff, as well as sophisticated drug detection technology.
"While our police are doing a great job intercepting meth and taking it out of our suburbs and country towns, it's important we also invest in treatment facilities and support for those addicted to it."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Health and Mental Health Minister's office - 6552 6500
Police Minister's office - 6552 6900