Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Tackling alcohol and substance misuse in Bourke and Brewarrina

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin today visited Bourke to announce the organisations that will deliver services and support as part of the Australian Government’s $3.79 million plan help tackle alcohol and drug abuse in Bourke and Brewarrina.

“The NSW Outback Division of General Practice will lead work with the Aboriginal community, the government, and other local organisations, to help develop and implement an alcohol and drug abuse management plan,” Ms Macklin said.

“The Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service Cooperative and the Bourke Shire Council will work closely with the New South Wales Outback Division of General Practice to assist in the delivery of activities and support services to tackle alcohol and drug abuse identified in the plan.

“The alcohol management plan will include locally driven solutions and could include prevention activities for young people, linking people with support services, providing education and skills training, prevention programs, referral services and harm minimisation measures.

“Alcohol and drug abuse is devastating the lives of too many Indigenous Australians and their families.

“We know that Indigenous people are nine times more likely to die from alcohol-related causes than non-Indigenous Australians.

“The Australian Government is determined to work with communities to tackle the harm this causes.

“Tackling alcohol and drug abuse is key to building safer, stronger communities and is part of the government’s efforts to close the gap in Indigenous disadvantage,” Ms Macklin said.

The $3.79 million Australian Government funding is part of the $20 million Breaking the Cycle of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Indigenous Communities funding provided to Indigenous communities from across Australia over three years, for community-led solutions to tackle the harm caused by alcohol and drug abuse.