Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

More support for Indigenous communities to tackle alcohol and substance abuse

Indigenous communities will get extra help to tackle alcohol and substance abuse, with a share in $20 million in funding from the Gillard Government.

The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, said the Breaking the Cycle of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Indigenous Communities initiative delivers on the Government’s election commitment to address the harm caused by alcohol and substance abuse through local, community led solutions.

Tackling alcohol and substance abuse is key to building safer, stronger communities. The new funding, to be delivered over three years, will help communities work with government and non-profit organisations to develop and implement Alcohol and Substance Abuse Management Plans.

The locations receiving funding were selected on the basis of their high need for assistance to combat alcohol abuse and alcohol related harm and for the commitment which their community leaders and members have shown to taking action.

The locations that will share in the funding are:

  • Bourke and Brewarrina in the Murdi Paaki region as well as Condobolin in New South Wales
  • Doomadgee and Mornington Island in Queensland
  • Ceduna and surrounds in South Australia
  • Laverton and the surrounding Goldfields region in Western Australia

These locally driven initiatives could include prevention activities and health education for young people, linking people with support services, providing assistance to pregnant and new mothers and working with local businesses about alcohol supply issues.

The funding will also help communities to work with local service providers to deliver support services such as education and skills training, prevention programs, referral services and harm minimisation measures.

Alcohol and drug abuse devastates the lives of too many Indigenous people and their families, and the Australian Government is committed to tackling the harm it causes.

The National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee (NIDAC), which advises the Government on Indigenous drug and alcohol issues, has played an important role in delivering the Breaking the Cycle initiative. The Government will continue to receive advice from NIDAC as we work with local Indigenous communities to tackle alcohol and drug abuse.