Boost for Great South Coast Ice Challenge projects

Senior Sergeant Steve Thompson, Warrnambool Police, Geoff Soma, WRAD, recovering ice addict Michael P, Moyne Shire Mayor Cr Colin Ryan, and group ambassador Matty Stewart at the Great South Coast ICE Challenge Community Action Summit in May this year. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Senior Sergeant Steve Thompson, Warrnambool Police, Geoff Soma, WRAD, recovering ice addict Michael P, Moyne Shire Mayor Cr Colin Ryan, and group ambassador Matty Stewart at the Great South Coast ICE Challenge Community Action Summit in May this year. Picture: Rob Gunstone

A state government funding allocation will provide a welcome boost to efforts to confront south-west Victoria’s ice addiction problem.

Brophy Family and Youth Services was one of 12 community organisations named as recipients of a share of $118,00 in state government funding.

The organisation applied for the Community Ice Action Grant funding as a partner in the Great South Coast Ice Challenge – a whole-community effort to address the harmful effects of use of the drug.

“We’re delighted that we’ve got funding to proceed,” Great South Coast Ice Challenge spokesman Russ Goodear said.

“We represent a vast geographic area and a vast number of communities within five local government areas, so we do really represent the south-western part of the state.

“We think it’s terrific that we’ll be able to continue the good work that has started.”

The Great South Coast Ice Challenge, supported by 32 organisations and businesses, first held a summit in May to develop ideas.

In August, six project teams representing Moyne, Southern Grampians, Warrnambool, Corangamite and Glenelg as well as a youth team each presented ideas for preventing ice use in the community.

The ideas presented by the teams, which are now being enacted, include a roadside awareness campaign using billboards, putting drug and alcohol support and referral information on student I.D cards and a feasibility study into examining drug use through analysis of sewerage.

Mr Goodear said the state government funding would help get some of the ideas off the ground.

“This project is not about rehabilitation, it’s about prevention through information and awareness,” he said.

Mental Health Minister Martin Foley said community support was the key to keeping people out of prisons and courts.

“Locals are the key to success – they know what will work for their area,” he said. “This funding will support them to come up with the plans that will rid their community of ice.”

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