Media release: NADA welcomes long-overdue NSW drug treatment funding

But uncertainty hangs over the package amid looming state election

21 September 2022
NADA has welcomed the NSW Government’s response to the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug ‘Ice’ but has warned a cloud hangs over ‘how’ and ‘when’ this critical funding will flow amid the politicking of the next state election.

NADA, the peak organisation for the non-government alcohol and other drugs sector in NSW, said the half-a-billion package announced by the NSW Government today was to be applauded, especially for the greater focus it gave to a health response.

“This funding has the potential to help more people across NSW who seek treatment, giving them hope they may finally be able to access help,” NADA’s Chief Executive Officer, Robert Stirling said.

“But we simply don’t know where, how, or when this money will flow. Our hope is that some of the funding will immediately flow to our frontline staff who have been overwhelmed by the sheer number of people seeking support.”

The sector is in the midst of a workforce crisis, with additional funding for alcohol and other drugs services needed now more than ever after COVID-19 pandemic created a perfect storm for the sector.

“But beyond that we would hope that a whole of government approach be developed over the next 12 months with extensive sector and community consultation, to ensure the money goes where it will do the most good. However, with a state election due early next year there is certainly a cloud hanging over such an approach.”

“After waiting more than two and half years for the NSW Government’s response to the Special Commission, our workers had almost lost hope. We hope that the package will address the critical needs of the sector to provide treatment and support.”

Download the media release [PDF]

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