“Bush Healing Farm” for Tharwa

johnboy 3 March 2009 58

[First filed: March 03, 2009 @ 09:36]

Katy Gallagher has announced that the ACT Government and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reference group have found a site on Paddy’s River Road near Tharwa for “an alcohol and drug rehabilitation service that will address the complex issues related to drug and alcohol abuse for the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community”.

    “The use of this property for this purpose will require a development approval process which will include extensive opportunity for community consultation. The ACT Government has already commenced ongoing land management obligations for the property, such as fire hazard and weed control are met, guaranteed through a Land Management Agreement.”

    The ACT Government committed funding of $10.8 million for this service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT in November 2007, with the Australian Government contributing an additional $1 million in June 2008.

    The design and construction of the rehabilitation facility will be culturally and environmentally sensitive, and the ACT Government will encourage the involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainees and labour.

We await reaction to the news from Tharwa with interest.

UPDATED: Zed is extremely surprised by the announcement as Katy isn’t able to provide a briefing on the subject until April.

    “I wrote to Ms Gallagher on the 20th of February seeking a briefing. I received a curt email on the 1st of March telling me only that Ms Gallagher was considering our request. The next we heard was the announcement made today.

    “This comes after a long, sorry saga on this project. Mr Stanhope initially was planning to force the project through on the Kama site in Hawker, against departmental advice.

    “Once the story became public in the media, he made a humiliating change in plan.

    “Since it has been handed to Ms Gallagher, the process has not improved.

    “This site has been announced on the Tharwa community without consultation, without community involvement, without showing due respect to the other parties in the Assembly.

    “The questions is – what is Ms Gallagher trying to hide with this project? We have said repeatedly that we support the concept of a Bush Healing Farm. If there is nothing to hide, the briefing should be provided as soon as possible,” said Zed.


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58 Responses to “Bush Healing Farm” for Tharwa
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Granny Granny 9:45 am 05 Mar 09

When someone says something like that it never occurs to them that they seem so much more horrible to me than the people they’re criticising.

Furry Jesus Furry Jesus 9:38 am 05 Mar 09

I should have said ‘people with objections based on prejudice’. I remember once talking to a service club (no names) about a young offender’s program I was working on, and when I finished, one of the members stood up and said ‘ Sorry, but I think that stuff about abusive backgrounds and support programs is all a load of bleeding heart crap. I think they should all be drowned at birth.” I always wondered why he began with an apology…

Furry Jesus Furry Jesus 9:34 am 05 Mar 09

Pommy bastard said :

I hardly think not wanting a centre for drug addicts and alkies on your doorstep can be dismissed by crying NIMBYISM.

Says it all, really. The property isn’t on anyone’s doorstep.

To paraphrase PB, I hardly think that the need for a treatment centre for indigenous people with drug and alcohol problems can be dismissed by crying NO COMMUNITY CONSULTATION. In my experience, the opponents of community projects for people with serious problems (drugs, young offenders, people with mental health problems, prisoners) are a pain in the arse for anyone charged with responsibility for building community services. People with objections are often the most vocal in consultation processes, because the rest of the community is either silent but supportive, or apathetic. The difference when the proposal is to build a new school or child care centre is really instructive – you never hear screams about lack of consultation when Maccas open another respite house for families of children with cancer…

YapYapYap YapYapYap 10:14 pm 04 Mar 09

Down what way? It’s in the middle of nowhere – or are you talking about the rural lease holders?

YapYapYap YapYapYap 10:11 pm 04 Mar 09

Tharwa is closer to Monash than is is to this property, and in fact Monash is closer to the property than Tharwa is. So you cares what the few dozen residents of Tharwa think about what happens on a remote (to Tharwa) rural block – how important is this village!

As to consultation can someone explain how it is you purchase a private property ‘after’ months and months and months of consultation? What vendor hangs around for Val Jeffrey’s say so?

This isn’t even NIMBYISM, just small minded drivel.

Vic Bitterman Vic Bitterman 10:10 pm 04 Mar 09

More drunken, drug farcked individuals down that way. Great.

deezagood deezagood 6:31 pm 04 Mar 09

Buggar – again with the italics!

deezagood deezagood 6:31 pm 04 Mar 09

Furry Jesus said :

deezagood said :

FJ – you have just raised the exact thing that brings out the rampant NIMBYism; the fake, token ‘community consultation’ that occurs AFTER the land/property has been purchased and things are presumably a ‘done deal’.

My point was that NIMBYism is wrong, and that we can expect to see some of it as a mask for fears and prejudices against services for indigenous people and particularly for people with drug problems – ask anyone who works in the drug and alcohol sector what happened when Karralika wanted to put a halfway house in the community.

The Karralika situation occured before I moved into the area, but from what I could gather, this, again, was an absolute classic case of zero consultation before the decision was made – forcing angry, blind-sided and deeply suspicious residents to fight against what was presented as a fait accompli. That is my whole point – I hope the government doesn’t make the same mistake with the Tharwa facility.

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 6:29 pm 04 Mar 09

Exactly, crying NIMBY over people’s genuine concerns is not really addressing the issue.

deezagood deezagood 6:27 pm 04 Mar 09

Pommy bastard said :

I hardly think not wanting a centre for drug addicts and alkies on your doorstep can be dismissed by crying NIMBYISM.

One might say the same thing about having a gas-fired power station installed 600 metres from homes; but there were still cries of NIMBY (especially from Stanhope!).

Gobbo Gobbo 5:48 pm 04 Mar 09

They can always access the ACT Regional Community Bus Service.

http://www.dhcs.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/28710/Community_Bus_Brochure_26_June_08.pdf

It is for ACT residents who are isolated because of a lack of other viable transport options.

johnboy johnboy 5:48 pm 04 Mar 09

I suspect the lack of transport is a real plus of the site.

You don’t have to stay but you have to put in the hard (long) yards to just bugger off without telling anyone.

someoneincanb someoneincanb 5:21 pm 04 Mar 09

How are people going to access a facility in the middle of nowhere? The ACT government are unable (unwilling?) to provide public transport to Tharwa, so why would Paddys River Road be any different?

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 5:19 pm 04 Mar 09

I hardly think not wanting a centre for drug addicts and alkies on your doorstep can be dismissed by crying NIMBYISM.

johnboy johnboy 5:12 pm 04 Mar 09

I’ve lost more money to alcoholics needing the cash than I have to drug addicts.

Furry Jesus Furry Jesus 5:09 pm 04 Mar 09

deezagood said :

FJ – you have just raised the exact thing that brings out the rampant NIMBYism; the fake, token ‘community consultation’ that occurs AFTER the land/property has been purchased and things are presumably a ‘done deal’.

I’d agree that abusing people with legitimate objections about not being consulted with charges of NIMBYism is very wrong. My point was that NIMBYism is wrong, and that we can expect to see some of it as a mask for fears and prejudices against services for indigenous people and particularly for people with drug problems – ask anyone who works in the drug and alcohol sector what happened when Karralika wanted to put a halfway house in the community.

My guess is that no-one will complain about services for alcoholics as they’re not known to commit crime to get access to alcohol (because it’s cheap and freely available).

deezagood deezagood 4:47 pm 04 Mar 09

FJ – you have just raised the exact thing that brings out the rampant NIMBYism; the fake, token ‘community consultation’ that occurs AFTER the land/property has been purchased and things are presumably a ‘done deal’. This is what pisses communities off -the feeling of being rail-roaded, not having any voice, not being engaged at the start of the process, and basically feeling as though the ‘community consultation’ is a box-ticking (but essentially pointless) exercise. And then, when these hapless communities rightfully express their contempt at the lack of genuine consultation, everyone shouts them down with cries of ‘NIMBY, NIMBY’. Consultation involves engaging a community before any critical decisions are made, getting the community on-side from the start, making them feel as though they have ownership in the process/outcomes, and letting interested community members participate, actively, in the project. Also – allowing people to voice their concerns, discuss their fears (and perhaps negotiating on those key block-points) etc… before things are a fait accompli. Why oh why won’t this government learn from their constant and oft-repeated mistakes in this regard??? How many more planning debacles and angry communities will it take before they actually get the message regarding what good consultation really looks like? I think the Tharwa community should be rightfully pissed off that this proposal, however valuable and worthwhile, appears to be a ‘done deal’ before they have even had a chance to discuss the concept in a coordinated way.

deezagood deezagood 4:46 pm 04 Mar 09

Sorry – my bit is blended into the quote above.

deezagood deezagood 4:45 pm 04 Mar 09

Furry Jesus said :

The property has already been purchased, so the building of the facility seems to be a done deal, and we might well rail against lack of community consultation, but Katy has apparently said ““The use of this property for this purpose will require a development approval process which will include extensive opportunity for community consultation.”

What will be interesting will be what the community says in this stage of the approval process, and what influence the consultation will carry. I expect the usual NIMBY outpourings of support for the desirability of a rehab service for local Aboriginal people as long as it’s somewhere else.
quote]

FJ – you have just raised the exact thing that brings out the rampant NIMBYism; the fake, token ‘community consultation’ that occurs AFTER the land/property has been purchased and things are presumably a ‘done deal’. This is what pisses communities off -the feeling of being rail-roaded, not having any voice, not being engaged at the start of the process, and basically feeling as though the ‘community consultation’ is a box-ticking (but essentially pointless) exercise. And then, when these hapless communities rightfully express their contempt at the lack of genuine consultation, everyone shouts them down with cries of ‘NIMBY, NIMBY’. Consultation involves engaging a community before any critical decisions are made, getting the community on-side from the start, making them feel as though they have ownership in the process/outcomes, and letting interested community members participate, actively, in the project. Also – allowing people to voice their concerns, discuss their fears (and perhaps negotiating on those key block-points) etc… before things are a fait accompli. Why oh why won’t this government learn from their constant and oft-repeated mistakes in this regard??? How many more planning debacles and angry communities will it take before they actually get the message regarding what good consultation really looks like? I think the Tharwa community should be rightfully pissed off that this proposal, however valuable and worthwhile, appears to be a ‘done deal’ before they have even had a chance to discuss the concept in a coordinated way.

Furry Jesus Furry Jesus 2:04 pm 04 Mar 09

The property has already been purchased, so the building of the facility seems to be a done deal, and we might well rail against lack of community consultation, but Katy has apparently said ““The use of this property for this purpose will require a development approval process which will include extensive opportunity for community consultation.”

What will be interesting will be what the community says in this stage of the approval process, and what influence the consultation will carry. I expect the usual NIMBY outpourings of support for the desirability of a rehab service for local Aboriginal people as long as it’s somewhere else. And ill-conceived reactions denigrating attempts to address indigenous drug/alcohol health concerns outside of mainstream services (or at all). And law-and-order ranting about how treatment/support is a soft option (see vg “handsy holding and tree hugging” above). Don’t we have a big enough ATSI population in prison already?

The lack of a similar service at Bimberi is a huge mistake. Perhaps the healing farm can offer help to young offenders too. Nothing wrong with a bit of early intervention…

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