Victoria Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge
Opportunity To Contribute To Alcohol And Drug Reform
Victor P Taffa
Victorians have a new opportunity to contribute to the development of the Coalition Government’s Alcohol and Drug Strategy.
Mental Health Minister Mary Wooldridge said today she had supported a request from the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (VAADA) to undertake additional community engagement on alcohol and drug reform.
The consultations include an online forum, a series of street surveys and focus groups that will run in metropolitan and regional Victoria. A specific Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consultation forum will also be held in partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.
Comments, ideas, stories and feedback will be considered by the expert advisory group and will help inform the development of the strategy.
“The Coalition Government is committed to engaging and learning from those involved in all sectors impacted upon by alcohol and drug issues, including treatment and prevention, liquor licensing and regulation, education and law enforcement.” Ms. Wooldridge said.
Ms. Wooldridge said so far the consultation process had been a great success, with over 120 submissions from individuals, peak organisations, the non-profit sector, community groups and local government.
“Based on the submissions we have already received, there is overwhelming support for the Coalition’s whole-of-government approach to the alcohol and drug strategy.” Ms. Wooldridge said.
Ms. Wooldridge said the new strategy would focus on decreasing the rate of alcohol and drug abuse, reducing the amount of harm caused by alcohol and drug abuse and increasing access to treatment options so that people can get help when they need it.