The Australian Crime Commission is currently undertaking a massive research project to map the use of dangerous drugs, especially ice, right around Australia. That is, everywhere except Tasmania.
The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program analyses wastewater around the country and gives insights into drug use, insights that are vital for tackling drug use in the community. The Program was established following a recommendation from the National Ice Taskforce.
With the latest report released today, Tasmania will not be included for the simple reason that TasWater refused to participate in the research.
Local councils – who own TasWater – need to explain to their communities why TasWater isn’t doing its bit to tackle the scourge of ice.
It’s simply not good enough that TasWater has refused to play its part in tackling drug use. The Hodgman Government is absolutely committed to tackling drug use in our community, especially ice, and there is absolutely no doubt that under State Government management, TasWater would participate in research projects such as this to gain a better understanding of drug use in the community.
The Federal Government is so concerned that this week the Federal Justice Minister, Michael Keenan, wrote to me outlining his concerns. He said: “Non-participation by Tasmania is disappointing as it limits the understanding of trends and emerging issues in the jurisdictions and the ability to compare current findings with those published in the first report.”
This is just one of the reasons why we need to takeover TasWater, so that the business can be managed in the best interests of the entire State.