Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 August 1990)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 August 1990)


Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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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 - Thursday 16 August 1990 proposing for the ALP to introduce when and if it ever gains government? It is proposing to introduce what is already in place. Let us get the context ri ght. I would 1 i ke . to turn to what is occurring in terms of addressing this alcohol problem. I would 1 ike to out 1 i ne the range of servi ces bei ng deli vered or supported through the Department of Health and Community Services' Drug and Alcohol Program. I shall detail some major new projects that are being implemented and discuss further service and policy development required to meet the challenges posed by a 1 coho 1 mi suse and abuse in the Terri tory. The overa 11 obj ect i ve of th is program is the development of policies and programs for the reduction of demand and supply of both legal and illegal drugs and the minimisation of harm associated with their use. Strategies to achieve this objective include development of drug policies .and legislation, coordination of Northern Territory and Commonwealth initiatives, development of prevention and treatment programs, research and establishment of data collections and analysis of the data. This pr'ogram comprises a central pol icy unit, the Drug and Alcohol Bureau, a ministerial advisory committee and the range of preventive, educational, treatment and rehabilitation services delivered on a regional bas is throughout the Northern Territory. Drug and a 1 coho 1 serv ices in the Northern Territory are provided by a number of government and non-government bodies. In addition to the department, the Northern Territory government bodies providing services in this area include the Northern Territory Police Force, the Department of Education and the Department of Transport and Works through the Road Safety Council. The Commonwealth government provi des services through its Department of Community Services and Health, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Commission also provide services or funds them. However, I would like to concentrate solely on programs provided by the Northern Terri tory Department of Health and Community .. Servi ces. These include departmental programs provided through hospitals and the, Health Promotion Unit, the community grants program and the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse. In recognition of the importance of preventing alcohol problems, increasing emphasis has been. placed on the development of education and early .intervention strategies. Current services provided under the programs include school-based and communi ty educai ion, hospi ta 1 treatment servi ces, community counsell ing, treatment and support servi ces and employee ass i stance programs. Problems of pub 1 i c drunkennes~ are bei ng addressed through the sobering-up shelters. I would like to,provide details of some of these services. Alcohol and drug education is an integral part of the curriculum of NO.rthern Territory government schools. The curriculum has been supported by the provision of resource materials, course ,development and ,teacher training. The Department of Health and Community Services, through the National Campaign Agains~ Drug Abuse, provides funds to the Department of Education to undertake this role. It is planned to strengthen the program further by appointing a drug education officer to the Alice Springs region. The school curri cu 1 urn is comp 1 emented by the . Pol ice . Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program, known as the DARE program, and the Life Education Centre. To ascertain alcohol and drug use patterns of school children, the Drug and Alcohol Bureau is cooperating with the Anti-Cancer Council in conducting a survey of schools. Thi~ is essential for the deve lopment of appropri ate programs and to. evaluate the effecti veness of current courses. Schoo 1 programs have been rei nforced through short-term 9954

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