NO CONTROL: Senator Jacqui Lambie with her family, from left, sons Brentyn Milverton, Dylan Milverton, nephew Jet Lambie and father Tom join her in her office after she delivered her first speech to the Senate last September.SENATOR Jacqui Lambie has revealed her son’s ice addiction in Parliament in an impassioned speech arguing for involuntary detox for children.
Yesterday Burnie-based Senator Lambie lamented her inability to fix her son’s drug problem while making an emotional plea on mental health laws.
“I am a senator of Australia and I have a 21-year-old son that has a problem with ice, and yet even with my title I have no control over my son,” she said.
“I cannot involuntarily detox my own son.
“I am not talking to my son anymore; I am now talking to a drug. And I can tell you I am not the only parent out there in that situation; there are thousands of us.”
In the speech she warned of the devastation of ice.
She wanted specific legislation for compulsory treatment for minors.
“The way that ice is affecting these kids is phenomenal and it is a very, very bad result,” she said.
“These kids will have three or four choices in their lives. They will either end up on a slab, end up in a mental institution or end up killing somebody else because of their actions because they do not have control of the drug.
“This is where this society is heading, and we are sitting here and we are not doing anything about it. When we realise that this ice is a major problem in our society, it will be all too late.”
North-West Tasmanian community workers have warned that ice use could reach epidemic levels if not addressed.
The state government provided $4.8 million in its recent budget, which would fund 12 new rehabilitation beds, although Rural Health Tasmania continues to call for early intervention and prevention services.
Ice was a “mental health crisis” that would grow unless both federal and state governments took strong measures to prevent “mental health injuries” in young people, Senator Lambie said.
She wanted political parties to consider national legislation making detox for children who were drug addicted mandatory.
Tasmania had a “massive ice problem”, she said.
“Australian parents deserve the right to speak to their children, not the drug, when they are trying to put them back on the straight and narrow.”
She opposed a bill to amend social services laws, saying it would let the government cut the disability support pension to psychiatric or forensic patients accused of serious crimes.
“It is very easy to take a populist position and vote for legislation which takes a hard line against people who are alleged to have committed terrible crimes and who have serious mental illnesses,” Senator Lambie said.
“The harder position is to oppose this legislation on the basis that it undermines basic civil rights and the chance of a quicker recovery for people who are very sick with mental illness.”
She said she was taking the “hard road” by voting against the legislation.
“In this debate, I think the government has forgotten that the people affected by this legislation have already been assessed by the courts and found to be mentally very ill.”
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