Ice Taskforce missing the point: Lynn Field

Nguumambiny Indigenous Corporation manager Lynn Field

Nguumambiny Indigenous Corporation manager Lynn Field

She knows children as young as 14 who are using drugs and it is those youth Nguumambiny Indigenous Corporation manager Lynn Field said would not be helped by the new ice taskforce.

The National Ice Taskforce was announced by Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday. It will examine current efforts to address the issue before preparing an interim report which will be presented to the Prime Minister in June.

The report will be taken to the first meeting of the Council of Australian Governments and used to co-ordinate a nationwide solution.

Ms Field said the taskforce was only addressing part of the problem.

"It'll have an impact but it'll only be a criminal-based one. You'll still have kids running around selling drugs," she said.

"It's a great idea but the problem is with the young ones doing the dealing, there's no accountability.

"Legally, under the age of 12 they don't know their right from wrong apparently. There's no accountability."

Ms Field said it was the lack of legal repercussions that often led to older dealers taking advantage of children, such as getting them to hold the drugs.

She said she would like to see more done to ensure parents were held responsible for their children.

"When I was a kid, which granted was last century, if I screwed up my parent were accountable. These kids have nothing.

"There needs to be part of child protection in [the taskforce].

"If you don't know where your kids are and they're out there dealing you shouldn't bloody have them."

Ms Field said as it currently stood, the taskforce would not be about accountability.

"The taskforce will set one area of command against another one over who's got more results. It'll be about arrests not about accountability," she said. "I applaud the government for creating the taskforce but the issue is multi-faceted. It needs more. They're only looking at part of the problem."

Ms Field said the problems associated with drug use, such as welfare, dependency and mental health needed to be addressed.

"If there's no food at home they think 'why not'?

"We need to work together to beat this drug problem."

Another area of concern for Ms Field was the ease at which detailed ice recipes could be found.

She said it was another issue where people weren't being held responsible and the appeared ease of the manufacture of the drugs was leading to bad batches being produced.

Former Victoria Police commissioner Ken Lay will lead the ice taskforce, in co-operation with federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan and Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash.

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