THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenou Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery
Member for Lingiari
23 July 2010
The Minister for Indigenous Health, and Rural and Regional Health, Warren Snowdon said construction of a new federally funded, purpose-built Tennant Creek Sobering Up Shelter will begin at the end of the year.
The Gillard Labor Government is investing $2.3 million to build the facility and the Northern Territory Government will provide ongoing operational funding.
Mr Snowdon said the Tennant Creek Shelter will make it easier to provide high quality care and supervision for people who need somewhere to sober up.
“This facility is basic to breaking the cycle of alcohol dependency and ultimately saving lives and money in terms of cost to the health and justice system,” Mr Snowdon said.
The shelter receives between 3,000 – 4,000 admissions each year. It provides a safe and supportive place to sober up; refers clients with a serious injury or illness to hospital and, importantly, refers clients to alcohol and drug treatment services or to other social support.
The facility will contribute significantly to a reduction in alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and violence. It will replace the current building on the same site, which is ageing and no longer suitable.
NT Health Minister Kon Vatskalis said the Department of Health and Families had applied to the Development Consent Authority for approval to build the new facility, and tendering and construction will proceed once approval is granted.
The Barkly Region Alcohol and Drug Abuse Advisory Group (BRADAAG) will continue to oversee services in the new facility.
“The Barkly Region Alcohol and Drug Abuse Advisory Group plays a pivotal role in minimising harm caused by drug and alcohol abuse in the community,” Mr Vatskalis said.
“This service helps people with substance abuse to establish the foundations for better physical and mental health, helping clients live healthier lives where they can pursue job opportunities and look forward to a more prosperous future.”
Chief Executive Office of BRADAAG, Stewart Naylor said sobering up shelters helped reduce anti-social behaviour.
“BRADAAG is very excited that this development is going ahead. The new purpose-built facility will significantly improve care and supervision of Tennant Creek residents and visitors who are picked up by police or the community patrols. It will also be a more pleasant and safer working environment for our staff,” Mr Naylor said.
Funding for this project is included in the budget.
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