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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (13 June) . . Page.. 1639..


MR MOORE (continuing):

The Committee also comments on the increasing trend to illicit drug use in the Indigenous community and recommends that the Government provide funds or support-in-kind to allow Gugan Gulwan Youth Corporation to move to more centralised premises.

The Government notes and shares the Committee's concern about drug and alcohol use in the ACT indigenous community, particularly among the young.

As the Committee would be aware, the Department of Health, Housing and Community Care has recently increased Gugan Gulwan's drug and alcohol funding by $120 000 per annum to $180 000.

This funding will provide an additional youth outreach worker, administrative support and an education program to support indigenous elders.

Outreach services are particularly successful in reaching youth at risk because workers are able to approach young people in environments in which the young people themselves feel comfortable.

Services of this kind were identified as a particular need by the indigenous community in the course of consultation undertaken last year. Additional staff will also enable Gugan Gulwan to work more closely with other mainstream and indigenous services.

It should be noted that, in respect of the organisation's drug and alcohol outreach services, the physical location of Gugan Gulwan is less of an issue.

The Government has recently announced that Gugan Gulwan will re-locate to the site of the Erindale Youth Centre.

Enrolment data from 1999 indicates that 35 percent of Indigenous students in government schools live in the Tuggeranong Valley. This move is expected to provide the organisation with a more appropriate location and facilities.

In addition, further indigenous case management and outreach services, including drug and alcohol workers will be funded next financial year. The services will complement existing indigenous outreach services and will be aimed at supporting indigenous services and facilitating indigenous access to mainstream health services.

I thank the Committee for its report and commend the Government's response to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Report No 7-government response

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (3.47): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the following paper:

Health and Community Care-Standing Committee-Report No 7-Cannabis Use in the ACT, including a dissenting report (presented 7 December 2000)-Government response.


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