Recent submissions by ATODA to relevant ACT and Commonwealth Government inquiries and consultation processes are detailed below.
ATODA Submission to the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety Inquiry into Community Corrections – Committee Report tabled July 2022
The Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety recently inquired into Community Corrections. ATODA made a submission to the Inquiry focused on opportunities to improve the functioning of the Drug and Alcohol Sentencing List (DASL), given specialist AOD treatment providers in the ACT are a critical part of the DASL. ATODA’s submission can be read on the ACT Parliament website at this link. ATODA also provided witness testimony at a public hearing in February 2022. The Standing Committee’s Final Report was tabled on 27 July 2022 and can be read at this link. The Report made recommendations regarding eligibility and appropriate funding for the DASL, as articulated in ATODA’s submission and testimony. ATODA’s submission and testimony was also quoted at length in the ACT DASL Process and Outcome Evaluation Final Report released on 9 August 2022, which can be read at this link.
ATODA’s Submission to the ACT Government’s Discrimination Law Reform Discussion Paper – Listening Report tabled on 7 April 2022
The ACT Government is seeking to modernise discrimination law to support best practice in promoting equal opportunity, respect for diversity and social inclusion. A discussion paper was released in late 2021, and more information about the project is available here: Discrimination Law Reform | YourSay ACT. ATODA made a submission in response to the discussion paper in January 2022, focusing on opportunities to reduce discrimination against people who use drugs and to support peer workers. Following the release of the Public Exposure Draft of the Discrimination Amendment Bill 2022, ATODA made a supplementary submission in July 2022. Both submissions can be read at this link. The Listening Report from the consultation process noting two of ATODA’s recommendations was tabled in the Legislative Assembly in April 2022, and can be read at this link.
ATODA’s Submission to the consultation questions for the draft National Tobacco Strategy 2022-2030 – March 2022
The Australian Government Department of Health undertook consultations regarding the National Tobacco Strategy 2022-2030 draft review in early 2022. ATODA made a submission in response to the National Tobacco Strategy Draft 2022-2030, and encouraged the revision of the strategy to reflect better equality and health equity of subpopulations to reduce smoking rates. ATODA’s submission can be read here.
ATODA Submission to the ACT Budget 2022-23 Consultation Process – March 2022
The ACT Budget consultation process is one of the ways that Canberrans, community groups and local organisations can have a say on how and where the Government should invest to boost services and infrastructure. As the peak body for AOD treatment services in the ACT, ATODA made a submission to the 2022-23 Budget consultation process noting the ATOD sector’s important contribution to the wellbeing of the ACT community, particularly to those vulnerable to lower levels of wellbeing in relation to health outcomes and inclusion and belonging outcomes, as described in the ACT Wellbeing Framework. The submission detailed the urgent need to meet the Government’s election commitments to AOD services in the 2022–23 Budget, and recommended an increase in investment in the ATOD sector, given findings from recent Drug and Alcohol Service Planning modelling (DASPM) specific to the ACT that indicate up to 4,750 more people need treatment than are currently being treated through exiting services, with an investment gap of approximately $24 million per annum. ATODA’s submission can be read on the ACT Budget Consultation website at this link.
ATODA Submission to the AMC Healthy Prison Review – March 2022
Every three years, the Office of Inspectors of ACT Correctional Services (OICS) conducts a Healthy Prison Review of the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC), which seeks to ensure ACT Standards for Adult Correctional Services are met within the prison. ATODA made a submission to the Healthy Prison Review and made five recommendations, which included: prioritising the development and implementation of a comprehensive drug strategy; reviewing the existing AOD treatment available; implementing an inclusive engagement process with specialist AOD services and other stakeholders to address specific needs of detainees; and promoting smoking cessation within the prison. ATODA‘s submission is available at this link.
ATODA Submission to the Review and Revision of the National Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Workforce Development (WFD) Strategy – February 2022
The National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) has been commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Health to lead a consultation process into the review and revision of the National Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Workforce Development (WFD) Strategy. ATODA made a submission in response to NCETA’s discussion paper, noting the importance of a revised and goal-orientated strategy to ensure a sustainable skilled workforce. ATODA’s submission can be read at this link. The revised Strategy is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
ATODA Submission to the Select Committee Inquiry into the COVID-19 2021 Pandemic Response – Committee Report tabled on 2 December 2021
The Select Committee on the COVID-19 2021 Pandemic Response tabled its Report on 2 December 2021: the Report is available at this link. ATODA made a submission to this Inquiry highlighting the critical role the ATOD sector has played facilitating the ACT government’s public health response in recent months. Pleasingly, the Report drew heavily on ATODA’s submission for Recommendation 23: The Committee recommends that the ACT Government disseminate lessons learnt on the effective partnership between the ACT Government, Capital Health Network and the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug (ATOD) sector in reaching priority populations with the broader NGO sector. This formally records and highlights the ATOD sector’s good work during the pandemic. ATODA’s submission can be read on the ACT Parliament website at this link.
ATODA Submission to the Select Committee Inquiry into the Drugs of Dependence (Personal Use) Amendment Bill 2021 – Committee Report tabled on 30 November 2021
The Select Committee Inquiry into the Drugs of Dependence (Personal Use) Amendment Bill 2021 tabled its Report on 30 November 2021: the Report is available at this link. On 30 November the ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) and ATODA issued a joint press release which is available at this link, welcoming the release of the Report. ATODA made a submission to this Inquiry highlighting the evidence base for decriminalisation and the need for increased investment in the ATOD sector, and ATODA also gave evidence at a public hearing on 9 July 2021. Pleasingly the Report referenced ATODA’s submission and testimony on 21 occasions. ATODA’s submission can be read on the ACT Parliament website at this link.