Xenophon wants ice ‘scourge’ tackled
SA Best leader Nick Xenophon wants to halve ice use by 2020 and force users into rehab. (AAP)
SA-BEST leader Nick Xenophon has called on the next state government to tackle the growing ice epidemic with plans for mandatory rehabilitation for users.
Ice users in South Australia should be forced into rehabilitation with Nick Xenophon calling for the “scourge” to be a key priority of the next state government.
The SA-BEST leader also wants to halve ice use by 2020, in a policy released ahead of the March state election.
If his party wins the balance of power, Mr Xenophon says he’ll push for legislation establishing mandatory rehab and detox facilities for ice users within the first three months.
The former senator said police were shocked at the extent of ice use in the regional centre of Murray Bridge, east of Adelaide, during a recent murder investigation.
“The fact that a senior respected police officer was shocked by what was found is a wakeup call for all of us,” Mr Xenophon said on Tuesday.
Health Minister Peter Malinauskas said the government was “open-minded” to the idea of a mandatory rehabilitation service, and intended to consult broadly on its merits.
“It is something that we think should be an option of last resort,” he told reporters.
Also, on the campaign trail on Tuesday Labor pledged an extra $70 million for mental health services if returned on March 17, including $17.2 million for drug and alcohol outreach programs.