Territory Stories

Questions Day 2 - Wednesday 19 March 2014



Questions Day 2 - Wednesday 19 March 2014

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Parliamentary Record 11


Questions for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016




Made available by the 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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QUESTIONS Wednesday 19 March 2014 629 education, knowledge and skills and take on broader roles will mean that we keep these people longer, because we are paying them more and we are giving them more responsibility. It is a very exciting movement within health services. We are committed to doing this, and I recently launched our strategic plan for nurse practitioners. They will work in all areas of health. At the moment, we have just three nurse practitioner positions in the Northern Territory, but we hope over the coming years, through to 2016, we will have 25 of these positions. This will multiply the current number by almost ten. We hope they will work in primary healthcare, alcohol and other drugs services, remote clinics particularly in remote clinics child health, diabetes, chronic disease and other outreach services. We are talking about nurses who are committed to the Northern Territory, committed to providing a very high level of service, and these nurses will have limited prescribing rights and undertake some of the responsibilities GPs currently have. Of course, it is ideal to have general practitioners throughout the Territory, but because of the constraints we have here that is not always possible. Our commitment to nurse practitioners across the Northern Territory is good news. Barkly Region Drug and Alcohol Group Status Mr GUNNER to CHIEF MINISTER referred to MINISTER for ALCOHOL REHABILITATION The Tennant Creek sobering-up shelter has operated for 25 years, with a new purpose-built facility funded by the federal Labor and Northern Territory governments opening in 2012. Your government has terminated the Barkly Region Alcohol and Drug Abuse Advisory Group, or BRADAAG, contract to operate the Tennant Creek sobering-up shelter, effectively evicting the community organisation after 25 years of service. Why have you evicted BRADAAG without any support for alternative premises and why are you compulsorily acquiring the new Tennant Creek sobering-up shelter? Is it for a mandatory alcohol rehabilitation centre? If so, why have you ignored proper planning processes of community consultation, Development Consent Authority hearings and appropriate building certification, in addition to providing no relocation plan for BRADAAG? ANSWER Madam Speaker, I congratulate the member for Fannie Bay for being allowed to ask a question today; he must be in the Leader of the Oppositions good books. I ask the Minister for Alcohol Rehabilitation the Minister for Health - to answer this question. She knows more detail about the subject matter. Mrs LAMBLEY (Alcohol Rebhabilitation): Madam Speaker, the sobering-up shelter in Tennant Creek in the Barkly performs a critical role. We are not stripping them of funding, and I know nothing about what the member of the opposition is talking about. What we are doing in the Barkly is undertaking plans to roll-out alcohol mandatory treatment. We cannot do that quickly enough but, of course, it does take time. It requires the coordination of non-government services to come on board and join us in providing this very successful service in the Barkly area. We have a really good relationship with BRADAAG, so I am mystified as to what the member is referring to. We have worked very closely with Stewart Naylor ever since we have come to government. He is the CE of BRADAAG. We have been supported by him and have worked very well together. I hope that continues. I do not see why it would not. The sobering-up shelter has to continue doing what it is for the time being. Of course, we will be reviewing all alcohol and drug services over time. We believe, with the advent of alcohol mandatory treatment in Tennant Creek, it may change the configuration or the demand for those types of services. With a population of 3000 people, if you have 12 of your chronic alcohol-affected people in alcohol mandatory treatment then the demand for the sobering-up shelter may not be as high as it currently is. The Tennant Creek sobering-up shelter only opens, I think, three or four nights a week. It has a limited function, but it opens on the days that are deemed the most important and have the most demand. I hope the opposition is not trying to destroy what is a great relationship between the Northern Territory government and BRADAAG, the Barkly community organisation that looks after people who have alcohol and other drug problems. The opposition should be very encouraged by what happens in the Barkly over the coming 12 months.

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