Your home should be a safe place to live yet sadly growing numbers of properties in Australia are becoming contaminated with Methamphetamine from the use of or production of the drug known as ICE. WAHealth estimate that 375,000 people are living in a meth contaminated property and do not know it. Meth use and manufacture is not a socio-economic related issue. Remediation companies around Australia report that they attend to more high-end properties than social housing properties.
Whilst most people think it is just the property (bricks and mortar) that is contaminated this is not the case. The contents of the property and anyone residing in the property after the drug user has vacated are also absorbing the residue and having their health affected as a result. Also, anyone entering the property and staying for more than half an hour is also at risk. This opens the numbers of people affected by the contamination to more than the 375,000 estimated to be residing in a contaminated property. The highest risk is to children and ignoring this fact needs to be seen for what it is ‘child abuse’.
Why is this happening and continuing to happen? Essentially it is down to two factors, lack of legislation and lack of public awareness. Drug use will never be curtailed and as one drug falls out of favour another will take its place. Therefore, banning drugs is not the answer. Protecting innocent people from purchasing or leasing a contaminated property, buying a contaminated vehicle, or purchasing contaminated goods is where the focus of attention should be.
This starts with public awareness of the issue and how to protect the family and investments. It begins with the market refusing to purchase or lease unless the property is tested. It begins with government regulating the testing and remediation industry and the real estate industry. It begins with accredited training being required to undertake testing and remediation and hefty fines for those who do not comply. If the government can act within a day on protesters and within a day on the ICAC then surely they can act quickly on the changes needed and as they are currently not doing that one has to question WHY NOT?
Yvonne Lacey OAM email@example.com
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