Community Engagement on Drug and Alcohol Reform
30 January 2012 at 2:59 pm
Victorians will have the opportunity to help shape a new alcohol and drug strategy, following pressure to undertake community engagement on the reforms by the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (VAADA).
The consultations will include an online forum, a series of street surveys or ‘vox pops’ and focus groups that will run in metropolitan and regional Victoria.
The Minister for Mental Health, Mary Wooldridge, said that the Victorian Government was committed to engaging and learning from people in all sectors that are impacted upon by alcohol and drug issues, including “treatment and prevention, liquor licensing and regulation, education and law enforcement”.
Wooldridge said so far the consultation process had been successful, with over 120 submissions from individuals, peak organisations, the Not for 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,” Wooldridge said.
The feedback from the community consultations will be considered by the expert advisory group and will help inform the development of the new strategy.
According to the Victorian Department of Health, one in 10 Victorians drink at risky levels at least weekly, and alcohol consumption is a major contributor to disease, injury and other social harms.
Executive Officer for VAADA, Sam Biondo, said the reason VAADA requested that the government undertake further community engagement was that they felt the development of the new strategy would be enhanced by a more effective consultation process.
“We hope that these consultations will contribute ideas from people in the community and marginalised groups – young people, homeless people – to feed into the process,” he said.
Victorians wanting to contribute online can visit www.your-say.net.au
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