[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.