Andrew Hastie in no hurry on ice action plan

MEMBER for Canning Andrew Hastie has broken a key election commitment to “develop and implement” a Canning Ice Action Plan, failing to release the document within 30 days of taking office as promised.

The war on Canning’s ice problem was a focal point of the campaign with both Mr Hastie and Labor’s Matt Keogh talking tough on the issue.

A press release issued by Mr Hastie during the election campaign included the statement: “If given the honour of being elected, Mr Hastie said he would develop and implement a Canning Ice Action Plan within his first 30 days.”

“I will use the experience I’ve developed as an Army captain in logistics, human resources, strategic planning and issues management, in conjunction with focus and discipline, to help coordinate a tough, rigorous yet compassionate approach to dealing with drugs and crime in our community,” Mr Hastie said.

Thirty days from Mr Hastie’s swearing in as Member for Canning expired on November 12.

Mr Hastie said his ice action strategy was still on track, even though a plan had not been released.

“I haven’t missed a deadline, I’ve been clear on delivering what I’ve said,” he said.

“The commitment was to set up an Ice Action Group.”

Mr Hastie said he met Minister for Regional Health Fiona Nash and Minister for Justice Michael Keenan last week and was working on a significant announcement relating to the plan.

“We’re talking about a joint venture in the Peel region designed to take pressure off emergency departments, which we’ll be able to announce soon,” he said.

“That’ll build out the document at some point.”

Mr Hastie said the next stage in his strategy to tackle ice was a community forum.

“I’ve spent five weeks in Canberra over the last eight, so that’s something we’ll do after we get back from Canberra next week,” he said.

Although Mr Hastie said a document would eventually be released, he admitted the ice problem was more complex than he first thought.

“The plan will be evolving,” he said.

“The ice problem is not just tied to drug use, it’s also tied to jobs and infrastructure.

“It is a complex issue, and I don’t want to speak in platitudes, but it is multifaceted; and as soon as you think you’re on to a solution, something else comes up.”

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