Government should detail plans for Indigenous residential rehabilitation centre

The ACT Government should detail how it will honour its decade old commitment to develop a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility for the ACT Indigenous community, after its disgraceful handling of the Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm, Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs James Milligan said today.

“Ten years ago, the ACT indigenous community dreamt of a residential rehabilitation facility that would help Indigenous Canberrans overcome drug and alcohol addiction,” Mr Milligan said.

“At the time, then Chief Minister Jon Stanhope pledged the Government’s support to make this dream a reality.

“In the years that have passed, however, we have seen successive Labor-Greens Governments squander $12 million on what the Indigenous community have described as a ‘camp site’ after the Government confirmed this year that the Bush Farm was not allowed to provide clinical services, as it was originally intended.

“The Government’s handling of the Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm has been disgraceful.

“I am calling on the Government to revive this dissipating dream and detail how it will deliver a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility for the Indigenous community.

“It should detail how it will be able to provide an appropriate clinical model of care like the Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm was meant to. It should also ensure that it will be run by the Indigenous community.

“It is imperative that the Government now takes responsibility for its failure by honouring a ten year old commitment to outfit the ACT Indigenous community with a residential rehabilitation centre,” Mr Milligan concluded.