Page 2119 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 8 May 2012

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MS GALLAGHER: The government is finalising a new blood-borne virus strategy and the decision will be incorporated into that.

MR SESELJA: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Seselja.

MR SESELJA: Minister, what is the projected cost of the proposed tattoo service at the prison?

MS GALLAGHER: We have not finalised that—the cost. It would depend on the nature of the facility or the service that you would establish. So there are a range of different costs associated with it. I must say the advice to me from corrections was very strong in terms of their opposition to a tattooing facility, despite it being a recommendation in a couple of reports and indeed in representations from the non-government sector and some support from within staff at the AMC. In terms of operationalising it, corrections have advised me on some of the difficulties they would have. The government will finalise its new blood-borne virus strategy and it will look at all of these issues, including any costs associated with the implementation of particular action items within that strategy.

MR HARGREAVES: Supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Has the Chief Minister received any correspondence from the opposition justifying the provision of free tattoos in the AMC?

MS GALLAGHER: No, I do not believe that I have received any policy content or advice from the opposition, but that is situation normal.

Alcohol and other drugs services

MS BRESNAN: My question is to the Minister for Health and concerns the ACT’s drug and alcohol treatment services run by non-government organisations. Minister, the sector was recently informed by the federal government that its funding will be cut by about $1.4 million, closing some services and potentially resulting in the loss of eight per cent of its workforce, around 19 workers. Minister, are you able to confirm the size of the cuts and what services will be impacted?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Bresnan for the question. No, the ACT government have not been formally advised by the commonwealth around any reductions in their funding allocation to the alcohol and other drugs sector here. I have seen in the last couple of days some advice coming from the sector themselves about what they have been told. I presume these are some of the decisions that will be contained in the budget, because it is around programs stopping at a particular time, which looks to me to be either the end of the financial year or the month after.

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