DRUG PARENTS: Queensland children are losing their parents to the drug ice at an alarming rate.
DRUG PARENTS: Queensland children are losing their parents to the drug ice at an alarming rate. monkeybusinessimages

'Ice corridors' sucking in Central Queensland drug users

ONE in three children in the state's child safety system have a parent who uses ice.

Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman released the shocking statistics yesterday at the ice summit in Rockhampton.

The data found 749 children had a parent who was using ice, and 60 per cent of those kids were under five years old.

"It's especially concerning to me that so many children whose parents were using ice were so young,” Ms Fentiman said.

Ms Fentiman said there were several "ice corridors” developing in Queensland.

"From the Gold Coast to Beenleigh, from Ipswich West up to the south of the Sunshine Coast, and there is also a corridor right here in Central Queensland, from Rockhampton up to Townsville

"The majority of the families we are seeing who are experiencing the scourge of ice are in these ice corridors.”

The most common type of substantiated harm against children from their parents who were ice users was neglect, 59 per cent. Emotional and physical harm rates were at 29 per cent and 11 per cent respectively, while sexual abuse was one per cent.

Ms Fentiman said 22 per cent of referrals to child safety came from a family member, friend or neighbour.

"This is why it is so important to continue that message about everyone in the community having a role to play to keep our kids safe,” she said.

"But the prevalence of ice use also tells us that we need to continue to invest in early intervention and prevention services to provide mums and dads with hands-on, in-home help so they can be better parents.”

Shadow Child Safety Minister Ros Bates said the Government had dragged its feet on dealing with ice.

"It just flaws me that the government has just realised there might be a bit of an issue with ice, particularly in child safety,” she said.

"The bottom line with these figures is that nothing has improved.” 



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