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Resolutions from the 4th National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Conference

The 4th National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Conference (NIDAC 2016) brought together over 280 delegates from around Australia.

At the conclusion of NIDAC 2016 it was agreed that:

Closing the Gap

1. Key national bodies and member organisations of Close the Gap be asked to sign a declaration of support to request the inclusion of AOD data in all future Close the Gap reports to Parliament.

National Peak Body

2. A Federally funded national peak body for Indigenous people and AOD services be established and operational by NIDAC 2018

Funding

3. Consistent and adequate funding models that meet the real costs of service provision be developed and implemented for Indigenous specific residential and other treatment services (eg a true cost per client formula be utilised)

4. Given the inherent bias towards larger mainstream non-government organisations – that Indigenous AOD funding be quarantined from competitive tendering processes

5. Ten (10) year block funding be provided to Indigenous services to replace the current one (1) to three (3) year funding being provided

6. National and State parliaments sign a bi-partisan commitment to deliver adequate, sustained and consistent funding for Indigenous health and wellbeing initiatives

Welfare Reform

7. The use of cashless welfare cards by the Department of Human Service if utilised be applied to all communities not only Indigenous communities

Decriminalisation of Drug Use

8. All governments treat drug use as a health issue by decriminalising the personal use of currently illicit drugs and therefore allow the prime response be a public health approach not criminal sanctions

Diversion

9. All governments increase access to Indigenous appropriate diversionary programs (eg drug courts)

Justice Reinvestment

10. Justice Reinvestment be developed and implemented as a National COAG Initiative in order to reduce Indigenous incarceration rates

Community Controlled Preference and Support

11. All governments recognise the primacy of Indigenous knowledge, expertise and experience to address Indigenous AOD issues

12. Clear standards for non-Indigenous organisations providing Indigenous specific services be developed – this should include an agreement that they must work in equal partnership with local Indigenous organisations

13. Community led initiatives be prioritised and valued to address local health issues

Prevention

14. The Federal Departments of Prime Minister & Cabinet and Health set aside funding for primary prevention activities that is available to organisations as separate core funding.

Young People

15. Funding for alternatives to youth detention be made available as a matter of urgency

16. Specific funding for youth (12-18 years) programs such as youth residential rehabilitation be made available as a matter of urgency

17. The Federal Government reinstate funding for education programs, similar to those identified in the previous National School Drug Education Strategy

Workforce Development

18. The Federal Departments of Prime Minister & Cabinet and Health set aside funding for Indigenous AOD organisations to access for workforce development, including diploma and certificate courses, to assist in attracting and retaining staff

19. Governments establish a national community of practice to support knowledge sharing and strengthen advocacy on a range of relevant AOD issues (eg alcohol management programs)

20. Governments provide appropriate salaries and remuneration for AOD staff that recognises the range of skills they possess

Alcohol Related Harm

21. All governments reconsider the current alcohol tax system including the introduction of a volumetric tax on alcohol

22. All alcohol related sales data be made publicly available each quarter

23. Consistent with various legislation, any strategies regarding alcohol management be led by the community

24. A range of locally developed and owned measures to manage alcohol in the community be developed

25. Alcohol advertising be ceased, including all age inappropriate marketing material and links with sport

26. Health warnings, similar to tobacco, be applied to all alcohol products within 2 years

27. Stricter laws regarding the secondary supply of alcohol to young people be applied

28. Similar to gambling initiatives, information on problematic alcohol consumption be available at all points of sale

29. A national education campaign on FASD be developed and implemented and which also encourages pregnant women and their families / partners to maintain contact with their health professional

New & Emerging Psychoactive Substances

30. Indigenous specific resources and educational material on new and emerging psychoactive substances be developed for use in communities

31. Create an early warning system that allows clear, plain English and updated evidence based information to communities.

Methamphetamines

32. A specific Indigenous methamphetamines strategy be developed and implemented by the Federal Government

Injecting Drug Use & Harm Reduction

33. Peer networks be supported and utilised to reduce HIV transmission and HCV amongst Indigenous people who inject drugs

34. A HIV & HCV prevention education campaign designed and delivered by Indigenous community controlled organisations and peer networks be given priority

35. The most effective responses for HCV treatment, HIV prevention & treatment and overdose prevention be readily available in Indigenous communities and include appropriate training for those involved

36. The availability of opioid substitution treatment be increased significantly in Indigenous communities

It was the strong view of NIDAC 2016 delegates that these resolutions be presented in person to the Prime Minister by a delegation of Indigenous leaders from the sector.

Please note:

The term Indigenous refers specifically to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

All resolutions explicitly require proper consultation and leadership by Indigenous communities in both development and implementation