Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 7 June 2017) . . Page.. 1953 ..
Torres Strait Islander alcohol and other drug rehabilitation service if they knew that it could not be used for the purpose requested is beyond understanding.
It was therefore even more inexplicable that the Chief Minister and the health minister should blame the Indigenous community for the confusion when their own directorate did not seem to understand what was allowable or purposed. Did the Health Directorate apply due diligence in order to ascertain whether their requested model was consistent with planning regulations? The truth is that Winnunga and ATODA should be commended for developing a model of care which includes both the original intent of the facility and the requirements of the brief.
The frustration of the Indigenous community is palpable. For almost 15 years they have waited for the Ngunnawal bush healing farm to be completed and opened to meet the urgent needs of the community. And then, so close to completion, they are met with the news that, yet again, due to the incompetence of the Health Directorate, the facility would not be opened.
As one member of the community, speaking to me on the ongoing failure of this government to meet the needs of the community, said: “We now have an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander alcohol and other drug rehabilitation service that really isn’t an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander alcohol and other drug rehabilitation service; the debacle of Boomanulla oval, that has had its gates closed for the past three years with no sign of opening anytime soon; and an Aboriginal community controlled health service and youth service with buildings that are not fit for purpose. I am becoming more cynical by the day, and I am sick and tired of the rhetoric and I want action.”
We now reach the crux of the matter. What matters most at this time is the opening of this facility. The Ngunnawal bush healing farm is crucial in ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the ACT get the help they need for their young people, for those in their community who are addicted to drugs and alcohol and need help. No-one in this place, I believe, disputes this is the case.
Politics aside, I urge all members in this place to support my motion today. A lot of money, time and effort have gone into building this facility and developing a comprehensive model of care. It is time for the government to stop the rhetoric and give the community action on this matter as a matter of some urgency.
MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (10.49): I thank Mr Milligan for his motion today and seek leave from the Assembly to move the amendments circulated in my name together.
MS FITZHARRIS: I move:
(1) Omit paragraph (1)(b), substitute: