SCUAAC Briefing 9 February 1994 Mr Steve Gelding District Manager representing the Department of Health and Community Services
Tabled Paper 345
Tabled Papers for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT
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ALCOHOL ABUSE COMMITTEE - Wednesday 9 February 1994 KATHERINE MEETING this - that there were 32 people in the police cells when Senator Richardson was here. They had virtually cleaned the streets. The shelter was full. That is the sort of thing that the community has to come to terms with. I think you are talking to Warren O'Meara and he would have a view on that no doubt. There is no doubt that it provides a safe haven for drunks and I do not think it will ever go away. We need these shelters. As of Friday, KADA will have one counsellor, no coordinator and a vacant counsellor position. They have been unable to recruit to the second counsellor position that we have given them from 'Living with Alcohol' funds. It is very difficult to attract appropriate people in the field who do not have some sort of barrow to push. It is hard to attract professional staff of that quality. Mr POOLE: I get the impression from them that they have a diametrically opposed view to you in that they believe that the only people who can do any good are reformed alcoholics. Mr GELDING: Some sections of them would. I accept that as a view, but I do not believe that reformed alcoholics are the most appropriate people to be running organisations or in fact determining how eventually all the public funding is spent in the area. We had a fairly ludicrous situation a couple of years ago at Christmas time. One of the things that our health promotion team do is run drink-safe programs with the RAAF Base and with local hotels. All these little things help even though they are not an answer in themselves. There was a program running a couple of years ago through health promotion with NCADA funding. It was really a minimising of Christmas booze-ups. The fact that we were not saying 'don't drink at Christmas' offended the sensibilities of the KADA committee who came out in another capacity and opposed it. They would not have anything to do with it because it is actually saying that you can have a drink. I find that unacceptable and I tell them that. Getting back to our evaluation and our general planning process, we are bringing together all the players in this game very shortly. We have planned it last year for February. Hopefully, we will have ATSIC's involvement as well because there is a substantial amount of money coming from there. We want them to sit down with us - the district management and the program people in our department such as Shirley and her colleagues - KADA, the Rock Hole people, Kalano and see what we are actually doing, where the gaps are and what we are providing and whether it is. effective. I must say that it is very difficult to evaluate these programs. I stress that the evaluation process is very difficult. Mr ORTMANN: Do we place too much emphasis on that? The comment was made that we are too interventionist in relation to communities at present and that they should be given a bucket 4
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