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Discussion in 'St Kilda' started by Yawkey way, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. Yawkey way

    Yawkey way Club Legend

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    I watched Andrew bolt for most of his show on Sunday while I worked on the shower in the on suite.

    He had quite a few guests including Kayser Trad and Warren Mundine, he was pretty much as I remembered him. He didn’t fire up at all he asked the questions you would expect, he was respectful and fair.

    I know it’s only one show but he was hardly a raving right wing lunatic, he asked about Mundine leaving the Labour Party and referenced Latham’s decision to do the same. He had on some libs questioned them about Turnbull and the current state of the party, it was a decent show.
     
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  2. SaintsSeptember

    SaintsSeptember Hall of Famer

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    I posted the short comment on Ice, but yes all of that.
    Former ice addicts have spoken about how they and their spouses had been trying to kill each other, full on Mr and Mrs Smith stuff.
    Any kids who get caught in the crossfire?
    It was shocking to find out a friend , a middle class schoolteacher, was having problems with ice.
     
  3. SaintsSeptember

    SaintsSeptember Hall of Famer

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    So what's the dirt on Guy Gringo?
     
  4. Yawkey way

    Yawkey way Club Legend

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    It’s crazy stuff and has made some areas around here places to avoid especially later in the day.

    There’s a bit of a honey pot of services around Carlisle street near the town hall. The problem is that it’s a busy shopping strip and the tram that runs up to Chappell street is there. I never used to worry walking around St Kilda, maybe I’ve got old but I’m conscious of who’s around now in a way I never was.

    People on ice seem to have no inhibitions at all they carry on off their faces fighting with each other as if there’s no one else around them at all.

    I have no idea how councils approve some permits it makes no sense at all, this area is right on top of a primary school and kinda.
     
  5. gringo2011

    gringo2011 Premium Gold

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    Phillip Island was rezoned to a developer that paid big money to the liberal party. Took private meetings with developers for $10,000 a pop which pretty much gave you a rubber stamp, Rezoned for developers for cash, sold Fisherman's bend development site without setting aside government land to supply schools, tram facilities etc then we were forced to buy it back for near what we sold the whole development for (again to a guy who was a donor), made the pubic payout when he got sued by the Phillip Island crew when he was forced to backflip. All of it was against his own departments recommendations. Approved buildings in areas that broke every bit of planning legislation we had etc. Strong links to the Calabrian Mafia, Chinese developers who are borderline gangsters etc. If he isn't corrupt no one is. It's embarrassing they put him up knowing all that, he's leader because of the money he brings in and no-one cares how he gets it. He should be in jail.
     
  6. gringo2011

    gringo2011 Premium Gold

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    Yeah the ice junkies are lunatics, heroin makes people sleep if they go on a bender, the ice addicts get psychosis. You see them walking around yelling at nothing like they are being tortured.
     
  7. Crusty Undies

    Crusty Undies Club Legend

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    Australian media has become such a joke in recent years, especially crap like The Project or 60 Minutes. A full hour of demonising straight, white men. And preaching and telling young boys not to rape instead of teaching personal safety measures.
    Doesn't fit the narrative does it malaka. Of course we can't look at gender related issues without assuming that mab bad wahmen good.
     
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  8. SaintsSeptember

    SaintsSeptember Hall of Famer

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    I've got to say I've been disappointed in planning ( if that is the word to use ) at all levels of Government in Victoria. To me a planner should be a negotiator, "OK you want to expand your mega profitable shopping centre, the roads are already choked , you need to pay for an overpass if you want to expand ".

    Criminals in development and construction need to be wiped out ( and its not just the Libs - the Desalination plant is a case in point ). I've heard from people in the industry that they prefer not to work in Victoria , and charge extra if they need to.
     
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  9. CaptainRisky

    CaptainRisky Club Legend

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    If you guys want to see ice and heroin does to people come up to my area , i'm in Abbotsford just off Victoria street , iv seen them off their heads head butting concrete walls , punching themselves in the face ect , its so bad, oh yeah and the odd dead body
     
  10. gringo2011

    gringo2011 Premium Gold

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    Yeah, I get over there a bit and around the commission flat or anywhere in Smith Street you get heaps of them. St Kilda is actually pretty cleaned up right now. East St Kilda/ Balaclava seem to have inherited a lot of it. A big group hang outside the Prahran town hall on the corner of Greville and Chapel street too.
     
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  11. Yawkey way

    Yawkey way Club Legend

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    It’s nothing new captain it’s been going on for years unfortunately and St Kilda has had more than it’s fair share of addicts on the streets.

    The problem is you never know the purity of the stuff or what it’s been cut with plus you have the added problem that junkies will take just about anything in a pinch and there’s heaps more shit on the streets. The problem seems to be getting worse and it’s not just Melbourne it’s country Victoria as well.

    It’s amazing how it’s spread, a friend of mine told me a couple of weeks ago about two guys from our youth. One was a school friend the other from our social set that we surfed and partied with. These guys never new each other, 35 years later they do and are both still herion addicts living around Apollo bay.

    Can’t get away from the problem it’s everywhere.
     
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  12. CaptainRisky

    CaptainRisky Club Legend

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    True mate , its pretty fu---ed up
     
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  13. mightymalaka

    mightymalaka What we have here is a failure to communicate!

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    Its everywhere these days Gringo! But yes those areas are where the madness
    Escalates! Can't say i have never partaken myself sadly. But I can say for me it was
    Only ever periodical. Unfortunately some of the ladies I have clearly attracted at
    The time were far deeper entrenched in its hold on their lives!
    Scary what seemingly normal lovely soft caring people can do when
    This crap takes a hold of them!
    Suppose ultimately it's no different to any other addiction out there only this
    One turns people into raving psychotics and if they stay within its grip
    Eventually will lead to permanent psychological scars!
     
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  14. gringo2011

    gringo2011 Premium Gold

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    Yeah, ice is massive around places like Mildura even. We went through there a few years ago and the guy who owned a restaurant was saying there was some insane amount of addicts there.
     
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  15. MUFKilda

    MUFKilda Club Legend

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    Damaged people trying to numb the pain of living. Very tragic.
     
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  16. CaptainRisky

    CaptainRisky Club Legend

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    I saw a story on the TV not long ago , it was some smallish country town , maybe Wangaratta and it said something like half the population had drug issues , thats crazy numbers if true
     
  17. SaintsSeptember

    SaintsSeptember Hall of Famer

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    That's probably Stereotyping. Like i said , i knew a Schoolteacher with a house and family in the burbs. Not sure if they were damaged people trying to numb anything, partying that got out of hand seems way more likely.
     
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  18. MUFKilda

    MUFKilda Club Legend

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    When people end up headbutting walls in public, something has gone badly wrong, and it isn't about having a good time.
     
  19. CaptainRisky

    CaptainRisky Club Legend

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    If it wasnt so sad it would be funny seeing the amount of them on the Nod , in the middle of the road bent over swaying all over the show oblivious to the rest of the world or anyone around them
     
  20. mightymalaka

    mightymalaka What we have here is a failure to communicate!

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    It's absolutely rampant in regional towns as the lowlife pushers out there
    Raid these towns where unemployment and entertainment is in short supply
    And charge exorbitant prices where before too long all the disaffected are hooked!

    But as SS alluded to it does not discriminate as to what so called class of
    People fall within its grip! You'd be amazed as to the cross section of society
    That's on the gear. I'm talking high achieving people who on the surface
    Appear to be going along their lives in a perfectly functional way as
    Unlike Heroin they are still out there doing their jobs and in some
    Cases making very important decisions that affect thousands of lives, all
    Whilst hopelessly addicted to this shit!
     
  21. MUFKilda

    MUFKilda Club Legend

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    The UK and the EU have reached agreement on the terms of Brexit. Now it goes to Westminster, where, guess what, its going to be defeated, after 18 months of negotiation. No deal Brexit looms large next March. What a shambles this has been.
     
  22. Yawkey way

    Yawkey way Club Legend

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    I can only speak about what I’ve seen so take it for what it is and I’m talking mainly about herion, it’s a completely different world now.
     
  23. CaptainRisky

    CaptainRisky Club Legend

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    So sad


    Sarah* brings the glass pipe to her lips and inhales the sweet yellow smoke. Sitting back, she lets sweaty euphoria take over her body. She reaches for her phone, but she can’t move. Her ears are ringing, her mouth parched. Panicking, she launches clumsily at the mobile: she must call triple 0. It’s then that she remembers. If she calls the ambos she will be drug tested, and that means violating the terms of her probation. Afraid and alone, she stares at the ceiling and waits.

    Sarah tells the story with practised nonchalance, smiling as she insists: “At first I thought it was just a good batch of gear!” Seated opposite me at a Wangaratta cafe, she’s edgy, constantly scanning the busy street. She’s in town to see her solicitor following an assault charge – “I’ve been done for a few things” — but has recently moved to neighbouring Myrtleford to “get away from the scene.”


    A 20-year-old Aboriginal woman from the part of town locals call “the Bronx”, Sarah struggled to find her place growing up. Bullied in school, she received little encouragement from a system “that only works for nerds.” I ask her what it felt like when she first tried ice. “Like nobody could change the way I felt.” She pauses. “Like I was safe.”


    Matt*, a 22-year-old recovering addict from a neighbouring town, is telling me about the time he stayed up for a month. “At one point, I was running up and down the street in the middle of the night. I had a torch in one hand and a knife in the other, and I was just chasing these voices.” Did he know the voices weren’t real? “I guess I didn’t want to know.”

    Like Sarah, Matt endured a rocky childhood. Born to drug addict parents who introduced him to weed at just eight, he wagged school daily, “so I could meet up with my mates to go smoke bongs”. He conducts our phone call from the garage, out of the way of his wife, Kelly*, and kids. “They’re the only reason I stopped,” he admits. Kelly has proudly informed me that Matt is 107 days clean, and I ask him if he feels better now than when he was using. “Not really,” he sighs. “Hopefully soon.”




    The ‘Wangaratta Disease’
    We now know, courtesy of the National Drug Strategy Household Survey Detailed Report, that Australians in remote areas are twice as likely to use ice as those in cities. Wangaratta is just one of a swathe of Victorian towns to have borne the brunt of the ice influx in recent years. Shepparton, Wodonga and Colac all have higher crime and addiction rates. Where Wangaratta is unique is in its home-grown syndicates: one after another have sprouted, all apparently controlled by bigwigs born and bred in the town and surrounds. It’s also a place where, until ice came along, violent crime rates were low.

    The advent of ice in places like Wangaratta is often explained by the fact that the drug can be manufactured pretty much anywhere. This is true, but if the people I spoke with for this story are to be believed, the source of most of Wangaratta’s ice is Sydney. According to RMIT Catalyst’s Michael Walsh, the increase is due to ice having “weaved its way into the social fabric of rural communities”. I want to find out how.


    Trent*, a former dealer, explains how hard drugs first came to the town: “It started with ecstasy around ’05. Pills were awesome back then. I was bringing in big loads from Melbourne and passing them off to dealers, who would work the pubs.” He explains how in the late ‘00s, good pills became hard to come by, so the dealers started bringing in speed. “That’s how everyone got used to the pipe. At first we would snort it or eat it, but after a while it was all crack pipes.” Still, Trent says, “it was only the fiends on drugs.”

    At the same time, something Trent refers to as “Wangaratta Depression” was festering away. “This place can feel like a prison: no jobs, no uni, the young people feel sort of trapped.” Sarah echoes the sentiment: “There’s just nothing for us to do.” I speak with a local mental health worker, who explains that with increasing rurality comes increasing division between rich and poor. In regional centres, educational outcomes are worse, employment is lower, and incomes are less than in the cities.

    “In school,” says Sarah, “they just tell you to take any job you can get, packing shelves, whatever. And to do whatever your boss tells you to.” These factors, often coupled with individual family difficulties like those faced by Sarah and Matt, can leave the youth feeling disillusioned and directionless.

    Of course, none of these socioeconomic factors were new, but they created a weak spot where addiction was concerned. It would take an enterprising young dealer to recognise and exploit that weak spot. That dealer was Aaron Dalton, a former cycling prodigy. Trent describes Aaron, 33, as “really charming. He could literally get any chick he wanted”. Dalton “got hooked on ice when he was in Melbourne. Then he started bringing it into Wang.”

    Trent was horrified when, soon after he’d first noticed ice in the town, he discovered his younger brother was dealing. “He was a good kid. He didn’t do that sort of shit.” According to Trent, Dalton had convinced his brother that he could make a lot of money, “but he also liked the ‘secret club’ kind of aspect.”


    Speaking to Sarah and Trent, a picture emerges of a charismatic leader who would offer ‘cleanskin’ youth a place in his club. In return for dealing — collecting small amounts of ice on credit before returning the funds and being ‘ticked’ another bag — they gained a sense of importance, of purpose, but most importantly, of community. If Wangaratta Depression was the disease, dealing for Dalton was the antidote.



    Us vs. Them: The stigma of addiction
    It was early 2012 when, says Sarah, “All of a sudden, ice was everywhere you looked.” She smiles as she remembers “getting up to no good. Just running around causing havoc.” (Sarah has been found guilty of multiple petty thefts.) “There was always a house where everyone was smoking. I was mates with a dealer who would always have people round.”

    Meanwhile, Matt’s use was spiralling out of control. Smoking up to seven grams a day, he was “always just chasing that first high. But you can chase and chase and chase, and you’ll never get that feeling back again.” Trent recalls his brother getting addicted: “He never even planned on using. But he ended up needing the energy to keep up with Aaron’s demands, and he got hooked, like, so quickly.”

    Trent’s brother’s addiction escalated quickly, and soon he was a “completely different person.” Sleep-deprived and on-edge, he was forced to take on more and more jobs, including hiding thousands of dollars’ worth of ice in his boot, to service his growing debt. “He wanted to get out, but he was trapped. Aaron would threaten anyone who tried to leave.”

    With Dalton’s own addiction skyrocketing, he became paranoid and volatile, suspecting even his inner harem of “lagging on him.” Around this time, Wangaratta experienced a string of violent crimes: two houses were firebombed as children slept inside, and a young butcher was shot at his front door. “There was this feeling like the community had lost control of the situation,” says Trent. “It was really scary.”

    The police responded by raiding suspicious houses. “That was the worst!” exclaims Sarah. “The cops would do nothing for months, then raid every bloody dealer on the same night. All the fiends would lose their shit ‘coz they couldn’t score, so they’d all go out and start smashing shit.” I ask her what the general attitude toward police was in the scene. “It was like, us versus them. Everyone hated them because they would treat us like shit.” She doesn’t believe the arrests helped curb the ice use, though: “Nah, because people would just get straight back into it as soon as they came out of remand or whatever.”


    Kelly tells me that accessing treatment for Matt was also difficult: “It was just so confusing. I googled it and the only thing I could find was an expensive treatment centre. Luckily for us we had a family member who covered the cost, but I couldn’t work out how to get the treatment for free.” There are government-funded treatment options but, as the mental health worker tells me, they are often harder to access in the country: “There is a lack of specialist services, a lack of choice in treatment providers, there’s often extra costs involved due to distance. The drug and alcohol sector of the Health Department is a cash strapped area in general.” Addicts who do access treatment face a difficult and protracted withdrawal: “Anhedonia, or the inability to feel pleasure from anything but the drug, can persist for 18 months.”

    Often, people in Wangaratta don’t seek treatment at all. Stigma is pervasive. “People just say, ‘You chose to pick that shit up, you can choose to stop it,” explains Trent. “And you can’t do anything here without everyone finding out. People know your business before you do!” Users stigmatise each other, too. Matt insists he isn’t a “junkie” because he’s never used a needle. The local paper frequently leads with headlines like ‘WANG DRUG HELL!’, and I spoke with a GP who refuses to treat ice-affected patients. There is a perception among the community that ice users are all violent and out of control. The reality is that a very small percentage of them are.



    No End In Sight: Police and government responses
    The police did eventually catch Dalton. A major operation led to his arrest, and that of many of his henchmen, in September 2012. Ironically, it was Dalton’s insistence that he preside directly over all operations that saw him caught red handed, trafficking a large amount of ice in his car. He is serving nine years for a series of trafficking and violent offences. A successive syndicate sprung up, and was dismantled in September 2014. Senior Sergeant Lance Werner beams with pride as he explains: “I’m not saying that we’ve got the approach to resolve ice use, but we’re certainly doing pretty well.”

    But ice use persists. New syndicates have taken over where others have left off, the lure of money providing a powerful incentive in a town with heavy economic division. For users, ice is extremely difficult to quit: one user I spoke with had tried eight times and never made it through the “horrible depression” of withdrawals. Purity has skyrocketed in recent years, to an average nearing 80 percent in 2013, and relative prices have fallen. So, has the situation really improved?

    It depends on who you talk to. Senior Sergeant Werner insists that it has; he posits that the arrest statistics (arrests in Wangaratta are up 29.9 percent in 2014compared to the previous year) are indicative not of an increased crime rate, but of a higher prevalence of “catching the criminals” and taking them off the streets. The Andrews government has overseen the most extensive inquiry to date into the supply and use of methamphetamines. Completed in September 2014, it formed the launching pad for the Ice Action Taskforce and the Ice Action Plan, a $45.5 million effort to reduce the supply, demand and harm associated with the drug.

    The sentiment on the street is that it’s getting worse in Wangaratta. Sarah insists that “just about every young person is on it.” And when I suggest to Trent that the prevalence might be down, he laughs: “As if!” My experience while producing this story has led me to agree with them. Several times, while sitting in the library or at a cafe to write, I witnessed sudden altercations spring up over ice. On one of these occasions, a man tore into a cafe demanding his money from one of the staff. He mounted the counter and had to be physically subdued before the police arrived. Another time, a thunderous argument broke out between a couple and an older woman. “You dirty junkies!” she yelled. “Why don’t you go and put some more dirty needles in your arms!”


    There are no specific statistics to tell us whether the problem has worsened in Wangaratta. But one thing is clear: Dalton’s legacy is a youth culture built around ice. If the problem were ever to truly be solved in Wangaratta, it would take more than supply reduction and the provision of better treatment outcomes. In the ice culture, young people are finding the sense of purpose and community they so crave. They need nothing less than an alternative lifestyle, one equally as effective at alleviating the symptoms of Wangaratta Depression.



    Katie Horneshaw is a freelance writer who has written for Spook and Hessian magazines. Tweet her @KatieElatey.
     
  24. mightymalaka

    mightymalaka What we have here is a failure to communicate!

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    Excellent article Captain! :thumbsu:
     
  25. SaintsSeptember

    SaintsSeptember Hall of Famer

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    Nope but they don't take the Ice because they're feeling sorry for themselves.
     
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