Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 17 May 1995



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 17 May 1995

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Parliamentary Record 10


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 17 May 1995 course for alcohol workers has been established at Batchelor College. Workshops have increased the skill and knowledge of workers in contact with young people. Staff of government departments are participating in workshops to increase their capacity to intervene in a range of settings at a local level. Information and education sessions have been held at different work sites. Alcohol issues have been incorporated also into the work of the Employee Assistance Service, and government department alcohol policies are being reviewed. A farther non-bandaid measure is a customised Aboriginal community action program which has been designed with a team of Aboriginal workers who work specifically with Aboriginal communities across the Territory. They spend considerable time in each community, assisting community members to articulate their major alcohol issues, and to identify, devise and implement ways to address them. A specific remote communities grants program has contributed to providing solutions. The states have expressed considerable interest in the program and an associated training kit and handbook that bring together essential alcohol-related information that has been developed for use by health teams working with Aboriginal clients. No suitable existing material could be found anywhere in Australia. Developed with major input from Aboriginal health workers, it is currently undergoing final evaluation before being produced en masse for distribution to service providers. Aboriginal people living in remote communities have expressed quite clearly the view that, to be effective, intervention for problem drinkers should be based in their community, and should involve the family and community rather than requiring people to leave their homes and rehabilitate in towns, with all the family disputation that entails. If the member for MacDonnell wishes to inteiject regarding the situation with CAAAPU, he may be able to read a little into that as well, in addition to all the other problems that CAAAPU faced. This can be achieved by funding, training and supporting alcohol workers in their communities and by the development of mobile intervention teams. These approaches will be the major direction for treatment interventions in the future, with a corresponding decrease in emphasis on town-based residential programs. This is a major departmental focus for the program over the next 4 years. Research and evaluation are basic elements of the program. As part of an extensive system for monitoring progress and assisting outcomes, treatment agencies have been assisted in planning their services and evaluating their programs. Above all, research has shown that the primary alcohol-related concerns of Territorians are family and public violence, and antisocial behaviour. The scheme that the minister has announced today is another piece in the jigsaw. It is not a measure on its own. It is not a measure whereby we are wielding a big stick and have no heart. It is simply a matter of saying that it is another part of the overall Living With Alcohol jigsaw puzzle, complementing the millions of dollars that have been spent in other areas. In my own electorate, I am faced on a day-to-day basis with problems of this kind - drinking in parks, vandalism, assaults etc. My own electorate officer was assaulted only a few weeks ago. That behaviour should not be allowed. It has reached a stage where a group of businesses have hired a security service to patrol parts of my electorate for 12 hours each day. Mr Ede: It is an indictment of the Minister for Police and your government. 3228