CAYLUS does acknowledge many other people were crucial in relation …

Comment on Central Australia’s new export industry: saving kids’ lives by Blair.

CAYLUS does acknowledge many other people were crucial in relation to the Opal roll out, including people from remote communities who went to Canberra and advocated with Parliament and the Senate for their families.
It includes people from all sides of politics who came together about this issue, and who are still on side about it. It includes agencies that we worked alongside through the hard years, when there were 500 sniffers going hard every day across the region, like Bush Mob, Waltja, remote community councils, police, health – everyone had a part in the remarkable success in relation to petrol sniffing in this region.
We are certainly winning. It’s worth celebrating, as we have made life safer for kids in the region.
CAYLUS, and all the other players, do care about the kids. The the strategies we have developed in this region can be exported to other regions where they can save lives.
The stats do not support the assertion that there is increased sniffing in remote communities or in Alice. The report quoted shows that. Anyone who has been around for a while knows that. The sniffing goes on sporadically, in part because of the issues that Janet talks about, and the next phase of the project is to bring resources to bear on the underlying issues that cause substance abuse.
The tools we have that did not exist a decade ago are in part outlined in the newspaper story – Opal, the VSAP Act, prior to which there was no capacity to intervene in sniffing.
The police had no power to stop adults sniffing. This is still the case in WA, SA and QLD, where a colleague was telling me last week that he was watching a gang of sniffers on the steps of a rehab facility in Mt Isa sniff but could do nothing about it.
There is now a section of the Health Department with permanent staff who have legislative powers to assess people who are sniffing and start a process that can mandate them into treatment – also outlined in the story.
These are the “well developed tools” and they work. There is scope for improvement, which the NTG has done to some degree already, with a review and restructure of the VSAP Act done a couple of years ago to streamline it, and a recent one which is still in the pipeline.
The tools exist, we (the people in the sector involved) all helped develop them, and we use them every day to keep a lid on sniffing. Lives are saved. Suffering reduced. Health improved. The battle is not over, but we are winning.

Blair Also Commented

Central Australia’s new export industry: saving kids’ lives
Hi Annon
I guess Ken is right. There will always be knockers. I’ve seen the positive effect of the VSAP legislation. The roses smell good.


Recent Comments by Blair

Central Australia is perishing for a drink
Hi Russell, how about joining PAAC?


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