Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 7 June 2017) . . Page.. 1964 ..
not to replicate existing services, particularly clinical services that are already available in the community; it is to add to the services already provided. It will provide a unique opportunity for us to have a facility and services delivered that are rooted in connection with the land by our local Ngunnawal community that will break the cycle of drug and alcohol dependency. That has been the intention all along. I reject that we have changed anything from a rehabilitation centre. It is certainly my intention that it will function fully as a residential centre in time. It is likely that that will not be provided in the first phase of opening.
I would like to correct the record on any misunderstanding that may have been promulgated by Mrs Dunne that we are rewriting history. We acknowledge that it has not been ideal. We acknowledge that it is a long process. We acknowledge also that we are working very hard. The bush healing farm advisory board is meeting weekly in order to resolve this. I understand that that will not happen for a couple of weeks because a few key people are away. It is not the case that a lot of people walked away from this earlier this year.
In addition, people working from within ACT Health and other directorates throughout the ACT, important directorates that are involved overall in the health, wellbeing and success of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, continue to be involved on a very frequent basis, as do potential service providers.
MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (11.23): Today I presented a motion to the Assembly that called on the government to act in good faith for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the ACT. In the last almost 15 years, the community has been waiting on the delivery of the Ngunnawal bush healing farm as a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre. The need for this is urgent.
In amending the motion, the minister, Ms Fitzharris, apologised for causing the confusion, and we are thankful for that. At this time of national reconciliation, it is important for the government to apologise for the anxiety, anger and upset their false accusations have caused the community, so we are glad the government has had the courage to do what is right in this matter.
The government should table a time line of all costs involved in the building of the facility, including the costs for land purchase, building, land remediation, the access and egress road, bridge construction, legal advice and the development of models of care. We know already that the dollar costs have been significant. This should be a major consideration in the determination of final use of the property.
In Ms Fitzharris’s amendments, she stated that the farm will go ahead, although it continues to be much delayed. What we are not clear on yet is the exact model of care to be delivered at the facility. The minister has promised to report on this in September. The community and I are looking forward to hearing what that will look like.
However, in the end, the answer to the problem of what the Ngunnawal bush healing farm should be used for seems to be quite simple. The community wants