Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 26 June 2008) . . Page.. 2040 ..
grandparents. Dr Foskey mentioned how important this area is. The committee also recommended that staff exchange be instituted between drug services and mental health services and made recommendations about the dissemination of information, mental health first-aid training and, importantly, community education. Community education campaigns need to be about not only this group of drugs but other illicit drugs and licit drugs. We seem to forget from time to time that it is not only illicit drugs that are creating issues in our community; of late we have heard a lot mentioned about alcohol.
I commend the report and its recommendations to members. I look forward to the government’s response. I would like to thank Grace Concannon for her support of the committee as secretary and Lydia Chung for her administrative support. I express my thanks to all witnesses who came before us and to agencies that enabled such valuable information to be gleaned during visits to a number of sites.
I will just reflect on what Dr Foskey said about HIV-AIDS. The committee did recognise this issue and make some recommendations in this area, Dr Foskey.
As I said, this is a complex area and it is a difficult area for everybody. Therefore, sometimes it was very stressful—for those who came before the committee or in agencies that we visited—for people to talk about their particular issues around this illicit drug use. I would like to acknowledge that.
Finally, I would like to thank Ms MacDonald for chairing the committee and for bringing this matter to the committee for our examination. Mrs Burke, as the other member of the committee, I thank you as well.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (11.30): I will not go over ground that has already been covered this morning but I basically say my thanks, too, to my fellow committee members, the chair, Ms MacDonald, and Ms Porter; to Grace Concannon and Lydia Chung; to the people in Hansard; and for all the submissions that were provided to help us carry out what was perhaps a very succinct glimpse into the life of people who use crystal methamphetamine, commonly known as ice, and into the impacts upon families and grandparents, in particular, which I will touch on in a moment. I would like to also thank all the groups that appeared at the public hearings and thank them for their time.
There are a couple of recommendations that I will draw to members’ attention. Recommendation 2, at page 12 of the report, reads:
The Committee recommends that the ACT Government recognise the special needs of grandchildren living with their grandparents as a result of parental substance abuse and the special needs of grandparents who become the primary carers of their grandchildren, and include strategies for this population group in future ACT Government planning.
I would like here to acknowledge first and foremost the work of Marymead and thank the government, too, for the continued support of the work of Marymead. I think it is a credit to them that these programs exist. We do, obviously, need more. We see and