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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 24 September 2015) . . Page.. 3517 ..

The Salvation Army received over a quarter of a million dollars for their Canberra recovery service residential rehab program. Ted Noffs, with a particular focus on treatment programs for young people with alcohol and drug problems, received $1.4 million for residential withdrawal and rehabilitation.

Again, in Indigenous services, Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation received nearly $600,000 for information and education and support and case management in a culturally specific and appropriate way. There is the fantastic work of Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service, which received nearly $400,000 for information and education, counselling and support and case management.

These are just some of the not-for-profit providers we partner with to respond to the issues around alcohol and drugs in our city.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, will you rule out decriminalising ice?

MR CORBELL: Yes. The government has no plans in relation to those matters.

Environment—weed management

MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services. I refer to evidence by the conservation council during estimates about cuts to the weeds management program to just $1.5 million. Minister, why has the ACT government made cuts to the weeds management program?

MR RATTENBURY: I do not entirely agree with the evidence given by the conservation council at this year’s estimates hearing, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is down from recent, much higher levels of investment that had been a result of my agreement with the Labor Party to put extra funds in in recent years, and those funds were not available this year in that direct sense. However, there was also a significant additional investment this year in the lower Cotter catchment as a separate line item and a range of funds from that line item in the ACT budget will also be spent on weeds and pest plants and animals, which actually means that the amount quoted by the conservation council at the estimates hearings was not the full picture of what is being spent on weeds this year.

What I can say, though, is that the Parks and Conservation Service, which largely takes the lead on these issues, although they partner with City Services—there is a lot of integrated and crossover work there—continue to be very focused and we are making good progress on a range of weed issues across the city. Also, the government has this year, in the past 12 months or so, funded an additional full-time park ranger to support community parks groups. These groups, of course, do a lot of voluntary work in the community and also do a lot of work on weed management in our nature reserves.

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