EDUCATION is the way out of the ice age, says a former councillor and paramedic who was disappointed to learn the region’s youth drug forum had been canned.
Ray Tait worked with the local ambos for four decades and sat-in on a number of meetings with Kevin Anderson’s defunct ice action group.
Mr Tait categorised the ice issue as an epidemic and compared it to the spate of young drivers dying behind the wheel in years gone by.
He saw firsthand how the young drivers’ expo helped guide the region out of a dark period on the roads and he believed the ice forum had the same potential.
“Young people make up their own mind,” he said.
“You can draw a parallel to the young drivers’ expo.
“Since that was initiated, the loss of life among young people has dramatically decreased, we had horrifying stats 25 years ago.
“Those stats are gone now, that’s from saying to young people ‘you have a choice, be a fool or reject peer pressure’, the same thing applies to drugs.”
He was also disappointed with how politicised the issue had become in recent times.
Recently, NSW Labor announced it would build four ice rehab and detox centres in regional locations.
Local Nationals MP Kevin Anderson blasted the policy and said Labor was playing with people’s lives.
“Politicians on all levels need to get their heads out of sand,” Mr Tait said.
“I don’t care if you’re Labor, Liberal or National, this issue is of epidemic proportions.
“Politicians come and go, but ice isn’t going to, unless they get off their hands and get on with a solution
“We don’t care who comes up with it, to do nothing is a total waste of time.”
The youth drug forum was an outcome of the ice action group, set-up by police minister Troy Grant in 2016.
Mr Anderson said the forum was funded for one year by the state government and another community group would have to take the lead and apply for funding to keep the program going.