An Illawarra team will receive $10,000 from the Federal Government to develop an action plan to tackle the region’s ice scourge.
The CALD Illawarra Shoalhaven team is one of 92 groups selected in the third round of the government’s Local Drug Action Team (LDAT) program.
The program, run in partnership with the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF), now oversees a total of 172 teams.
The Illawarra LDAT will now work with the ADF to finalise a community action plan – which will include collaborations with other local organisations and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Once the plan is finalised, the region’s team can then apply for an additional $30,000 in its first year, and then $40,000 each year, to support delivery of local activities.
ADF CEO Dr Erin Lalor welcomed the new LDATs into the program – which is part of the government’s $298 million National Ice Action Strategy.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for community partnerships to use local knowledge and build evidence-informed initiatives to prevent alcohol and other drug related-harms in their communities,” Dr Lalor said.
“The LDAT program recognises that all local areas are different and that community-led initiatives are critical when it comes to preventing harms caused by alcohol and other drugs, including crystal methamphetamine (‘ice’).”
In announcing the extended roll-out of the program this week, Rural Health Minister Bridget McKenzie acknowledged that rural and regional communities were often the hardest hit when it came to epidemics such as ice addition.
“Our regional communities are working hard to establish and implement preventive and support services and this latest round of LDATs are assisting communities further,” she said.
“… The success of the program is clear and this further funding will allow more communities to build on work done in earlier rounds with initiatives such as working with vulnerable people to improve education and employment opportunities and providing support and information to families about issues such as alcohol and drug abuse.”
Ms McKenzie said that LDAT members often included representatives from local councils, schools, police, youth services, primary health services and treatment services and community groups.
She encouraged groups in other regions to apply for further rounds: “The Coalition Government is committed to combating the scourge of ice and we encourage more organisations to apply to join the LDAT program, to drive change at a local level”.