Community groups in Gippsland can now apply for grants of up to $10,000 to develop the most effective way to combat ice in their local area, Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing MP announced today.

The Andrews Labor Government is providing $500,000 to fund grassroots Community Ice Action Groups across regional and rural Victoria.

The funding will allow community members to come together for the first time to develop local solutions in the fight against ice, and for other groups to build on existing successful locally-based responses.

A range of activities including forums, production and development of communications, promotion of education opportunities and the evaluation of these initiatives and interventions will be supported.

The community grants are part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $45.5 million action plan to reduce the supply, demand and harm of a drug that is ruining lives and destroying communities.

The Labor Government’s Ice Action Plan was developed on the advice of the Premier’s Ice Action Taskforce, which brought together Victoria Police and legal, health and youth experts. Under the Plan, the Government is providing $4.7 million to support families affected by a loved one’s drug use. This includes the 1800 ICE ADVICE phone service launched recently by the Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley.

The Government is also investing $18 million to expand drug treatment and rehabilitation, so users can better access the help they need, and $1 million will provide improved training for people who work with ice users.

New measures to reduce the growing supply of ice on our streets include $4.5 million to crack down on clandestine drug labs and tough new laws to stop dealers.

More information on Community Ice Action Group grants is available at:

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing PM

“Too many lives are being ruined by ice in Gippsland – it’s a devastating drug, which is having tragic consequences for individuals, families and communities.”

“In tackling this community-wide problem we are taking action to provide treatment to users, support and information to families and we are coming down harder on those who sell ice on our streets.”

“The Andrews Labor Government’s Ice Action Plan recognises that ice, and the damage it causes, demands a community-based response. These grants will lead to plans that are best suited to Gippsland communities and applications are encouraged.”