First Nations people in crisis will be left without a place to go after Minister Scullion announced the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council in South Australia, the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health in Brisbane and the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council will all have their alcohol and other drug support funding cut.
This is yet another example of the Government doing things ‘to’ and not ‘with’ First Nations people and clearly demonstrates why First Nations people need a Voice to Parliament.
CEO of the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council in South Australia Mr Wilson received a call during reconciliations week, to inform him of the cut, which includes his own wages from January 1.
The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health received a call yesterday confirming their Inner City Referral Service will face cuts. The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health council will lose the equivalent of two full-time alcohol and other drug workers.
This is just the beginning, with other state and territory bodies anticipating similar cuts.
You can’t make this stuff up, the Turnbull Government has cut critical rehab services during reconciliation week.
Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol services support members of the First Nations community at their most vulnerable. Alcoholic and drug dependant patients have a high incidence of entering the criminal justice system, it is only through rehabilitative services that people get the second chance they deserve. First Nations people need access to crisis alcohol and other drug support, not a hall pass to correctional centres.
Alarmingly, the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA),Institute for Urban Indigenous Health in Brisbane (IUIH), Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) were not consulted prior to the decision to cease funding.
Labor calls upon the Government to rethink their ill-advised decision to cut funding to critical Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol services across Australia.