Page 3935 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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Other new government funding announced over the past four years includes: $60,000 for establishing a trial of vending machines for dispensing needles and syringes to give the community 24-hour access to sterile injecting equipment; $100,000 to create 100 additional subsidised places in the methadone program for heroin-dependent people; $150,000 for a peer education program for school-age children and young people; $75,000 for expanding support for peer-based models of service delivery, support and advocacy, and community development; $15,000 for monitoring and evaluating the alcohol, tobacco and other drugs strategy; and $140,000 and $170,000 to employ co-morbidity and detoxification support workers at Gugan Gulwan and Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service.

In 2007, an AOD workers group was established to assist in building the capacity and identity of the ACT alcohol and other drug sector, foster intra and cross-sectoral relationships and improve outcomes while maintaining respect for the diversity of services and for people who are affected by alcohol and other drugs.

ACT Health utilises funding from the Australian government’s Department of Health and Ageing to contract the Youth Coalition to provide secretariat and project management support to the AOD workers group. The group has made progress in a number of areas, including establishing an AOD sector e-bulletin, establishing an ACT AOD sector website and AOD services directory; convening monthly forums for workers with guest speakers; and planning and delivery of an AOD conference during Drug Action Week. A total of $400,000 has been secured from the Australian government’s Department of Health and Ageing to allow ACT alcohol and other drug workers to undertake assessment and training in certificate IV in alcohol and other drug work and first aid from 2007 to 2009.

Given that the ACT alcohol, tobacco and other drug strategy ends this year, work has already commenced on the development of the next strategy in consultation with both the community sector and government agencies. The new strategy provides an opportunity for a renewed focus on priority areas for investment in the future. I thank the committee for the contribution that the findings from this review have made to informing both the current effort and the development of the new strategy, as we continue to strengthen efforts to prevent and reduce the harm caused to individuals and the wider community by alcohol and other drugs.

Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement

Paper and statement by minister

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Housing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Housing Assistance Act, pursuant to section 31—Housing Assistance (Commonwealth State Housing Agreement) Variation 2008 (No 1)—Notifiable Instrument NI2008-343, dated 14 August 2008, including a Deed of Variation of the 2003 Commonwealth State Housing Agreement.

I seek leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

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