Another Tasmanian State Budget has been tabled, and those following the media would be aware that the ATDC has been vocal in expressing concern about the lack of funding for alcohol, tobacco and other drug services.
For those who haven’t seen the media, the frustration is not just because of the absence of funding for our sector – because this was a theme of this budget across the Tasmanian community sector. The frustration is because despite doing everything we could to improve our chances of success, we were still unsuccessful.
This includes seeking a small investment of $75,000 that was purposefully modest to be considerate of the Government’s fragile budget position, and designed in collaboration with key community partners, including Primary Health Tasmania who would have matched the government’s investment. The Tasmanian Government knew this, and still didn’t see it as a suitable investment despite the $75,000 request being the equivalent of 0.03% of the additional $240 million they are funneling into the Tasmanian Health Service.
The Tasmanian Government were aware that the funding would have supported a project that would have focused on consolidating alcohol, and other drug data to strengthen our understanding of drug issues across the island – work that our sector has been wanting to progress for a number of years. Work that would have provided immense benefit to the Government for a negligible investment. Clearly our disappointment is an understatement. However, while it’s important to make sure that the Government and community are aware of our concerns, we’re not letting it distract us from getting on with things.
We’re getting geared up for a busy second-half of 2019. Over the next few months keep your eye out for details on upcoming training events, the announcement on the theme for the 2020 Conference, the release of the 2018 workforce report and more.
Chief Executive Officer