The Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council of Tasmania has welcomed the Tasmanian Liberal Party’s funding commitment for the Tasmanian alcohol, tobacco and other drugs sector.
ATDC chief executive Alison Lai said that while the Party’s commitment doesn’t provide solutions to all of the challenges being experienced by its members, it demonstrates that they have been listening to the concerns raised by the sector.
“The focus for all major parties during this election campaign should be firmly on ensuring the sustainability of existing programs and services and injecting additional funds into the sector to ensure that it can respond to increasing costs and demand,” Ms Lai said.
“The Liberal Party’s commitment will provide certainty to a number of existing programs and services whose funding is not guaranteed beyond 30 June 2021, particularly the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s Good Sport’s Program and our State’s residential rehabilitation beds, which are all delivered in the community-managed sector.
“We also commend them for their commitment to provide additional funds to the Drug Education Network to respond to the steep increase in demand for their drug education programs and resources.
“As our sector embarks on an ambitious agenda of reform, the Liberal Party’s commitment to provide a dedicated resource for our organisation also gives us confidence that they are serious about the community-managed sector being an equal partner in this work.
“It has also been pleasing to see the Liberal Party make commitments to address other key issues of importance to our members including smoking cessation, workforce training and a commitment to increase the number of staff delivering alcohol and other drug programs in the Tasmanian prison service.”
With less than one week to go before election day, Ms Lai said that the government elected on 1 May would still need to rise to the challenge of addressing the issue of increasing costs and demand.
“Chronic underfunding is a long-term issue for our sector, and with the impact of COVID-19 placing increased pressure on our services we will be looking to the government to work with us to ensure our members can meet this demand and continue providing world-class alcohol, tobacco and other drug services and programs to all members of our community,” she said.
Find out more about the ATDC’s election priorities in our 2021-22 Budget Priority Statement.
Media Contact: Alison Lai, CEO – 0450 517 017