Alcohol and drugs body loses funding…
Alcohol and drugs body loses funding
NOVEMBER 26, 2013 6:17PM
The council has operated since 1966, providing research and advocacy relating to the health, economic and social harm caused by alcohol and other drugs.
A statement on the ADCA website on Tuesday said Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash made the decision to stop its funding, effective immediately.
Most of the funding for the non-profit body came from the federal Health Department.
ADCA was told on Monday and its board placed it into voluntary administration under Slaven Chartered Accountants.
A spokeswoman for Senator Nash said the previous Labor government had left behind a projected net debt of $200 billion “and a coalition government has had to review the funding of a number of organisations”.
The spokeswoman said the government sought advice on alcohol and drugs policy from wide-ranging sources and funded several national peak organisations.
Australian Greens health spokesman Dr Richard Di Natale said the decision was an attempt by the government to stymie debate about illicit drugs policy.
“The Abbott government is determined to hide evidence, sideline experts and silence advocates,” said Senator Di Natale, a former drug and alcohol clinician.
He said it was a broken election promise, because the coalition had pledged not to cut health spending.
The council has a history of advocating harm minimisation.
It recently urged school leavers to avoid lethal mixes of drink and drugs during schoolies week.
Opposition health spokeswoman Catherine King said the decision to abolish the body beggared belief.
“It has decades of policy and advocacy experience in this sector,” Ms King said in a statement.
An annual ADCA meeting scheduled for November 28 in Brisbane has been cancelled.