Land Councils have key role in combating ice scourge

7 December 2015

Land Councils have key role in combating ice scourge

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) has welcomed the Commonwealth Government's action plan to combat the scourge of ice.

NSWALC Chair Roy Ah-See said the drug was an increasing nightmare for Aboriginal communities throughout New South Wales and he called for authorities to work with Local Aboriginal Land Councils for solutions.

"The Land Rights network in New South Wales is made up of 120 Local Aboriginal Land Councils which are often the first point of contact for Aboriginal people in our communities and act as safe haven for young people."

Cr Ah-See welcomed the National Ice Taskforce Final Report recommendation to target the most vulnerable populations.

"In New South Wales, more than half of our population is aged under 24 years. If we don't act quickly and decisively, ice will damage our future generations," he said.

Cr Ah-See said Local Aboriginal Land Councils were well-placed to work with agencies on education, prevention and community engagement strategies to tackle ice.

"The Turnbull Government has acknowledged that local knowledge is best and we know that service delivery in Aboriginal communities works best when Aboriginal people are empowered to develop locally-based solutions.

"Connection to land and country is the key to healing our people culturally and spiritually which is why our Local Aboriginal Land Councils must be part of the solution when it comes to combating ice addiction.

"Every day we hear horror stories about the impact of ice and the devastating impact on families and loved ones.

  "All of our Local Aboriginal Land Councils are battling hard to save young Aboriginal men and women from falling victim to ice addiction but there's a lot more work to be done.

"The NSW Aboriginal Land Council thanks the Turnbull Government for acknowledging the enormous challenges we face in stamping out ice.

"We urge the Turnbull Government to recognise that Local Aboriginal Land Councils are part of the solution - they need the support and resources to use land and identity to heal Aboriginal people trapped in the hopeless cycle of addiction."

Media contact: Andrew Williams 0429 585 291