“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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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…

sepi sepi 1:34 pm 04 Mar 09

On radio this AM they had a story about how NZ have started to sort out Maori health. The Maori are now only 7-8 years behind the rest of NZ in life expectancy, from 17 years behind.

The main thing seemed to be getting Maori health workers involved, even trainees, to deal with Maori patients, the trainees to be heavily backed up with supervisers they can ring during consults to seek advice.

It is good to know that someone is getting somewhere with indigenous health. Sounds like this could be a model we can follow in years to come.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 11:21 am 04 Mar 09

I’m guessing that there’s a robust business case for this – that there’s something about the way mainstream rehab operations deliver services that just isn’t working for A&TSI people. If that’s the case, and this approach has a higher liklihood of delivering good results then I support it.

Less active junkies (of any background)in our community the better.

Loose Brown Loose Brown 11:13 am 04 Mar 09

This is a good idea. Also fits in nicely with Federal Govt attempts to ‘close the gap’.

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 10:53 am 04 Mar 09

I suspect he is trying to avoid the ignorant, racists who will only use this to spread ignorant racist views about two much maligned communities.

Tharwa isn’t often maligned?

dexi dexi 10:50 am 04 Mar 09

It is good to see a positive step in healing our communities health issues.

PBO PBO 10:44 am 04 Mar 09

chewy14 said :

dexi said :

Ignorant and racist comments made by racist ignorant s. Your welcome to your opinions but don’t think they won’t be labelled for what they are.

Dexi my point was that if your call people ignorant racists in every post, the terms lose their effect and diminish your argument.

Maybe deep down Dexi is a reformed racist and feels bad about it so everyone has to take blame.

chewy14 chewy14 10:21 am 04 Mar 09

dexi said :

Ignorant and racist comments made by racist ignorant s. Your welcome to your opinions but don’t think they won’t be labelled for what they are.

Dexi my point was that if your call people ignorant racists in every post, the terms lose their effect and diminish your argument.

dexi dexi 10:13 am 04 Mar 09

““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.”

I suspect he is trying to avoid the ignorant, racists who will only use this to spread ignorant racist views about two much maligned communities.

FC FC 10:07 am 04 Mar 09

Not at all. I should have been more specific.

chewy14 chewy14 10:05 am 04 Mar 09

Fair enough FC,

thought you were talking about all the comments.

dexi dexi 10:04 am 04 Mar 09

Ignorant and racist comments made by racist ignorant s. Your welcome to your opinions but don’t think they won’t be labelled for what they are.

FC FC 9:56 am 04 Mar 09

chewy14 said :

Yawn.

So if someone has an opinion different to yours they are ignorant and a racist?

Not at all.
When I read comments like this:
“Gee, what are they going to do anout electricity, water and sewerage? More money screwed from U & me just so we can pander to politically correct Aboriginal superstitions.”

“Might have been better to put this joint next to the “tent embassy”.”

I would view the comments as ignorant and racist.

FC FC 9:53 am 04 Mar 09

poptop said :

Ummm ‘Victimless crime’ debates aside, technically most drug addicts ARE criminals as they are purchasing and using illegal substances.

depending what drug they are using (eg prescription/alcohol us)

chewy14 chewy14 9:48 am 04 Mar 09

dexi said :

No. When some one has an ignorant racist opinion they are ignorant and a racist.

In your opinion dexi.

housebound housebound 9:42 am 04 Mar 09

Interesting point by the Libs – if this is such a good idea why was Stanhope so secretive about it?

poptop poptop 9:34 am 04 Mar 09

Ummm ‘Victimless crime’ debates aside, technically most drug addicts ARE criminals as they are purchasing and using illegal substances.

dexi dexi 9:27 am 04 Mar 09

No. When some one has an ignorant racist opinion they are ignorant and a racist.

chewy14 chewy14 9:25 am 04 Mar 09

Yawn.

So if someone has an opinion different to yours they are ignorant and a racist?

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