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The Central Australian Aboriginal Congress has expressed its dismay at the news that the Senate Committee has recommended that the Low Aromatic Fuel Bill should not proceed.
Acting CEO of Congress, Ms Donna Ah Chee, said, 'There's no denying that Opal fuel has dramatically reduced the number of deaths of young Aboriginal people in our region.
'The case for regulation of all drugs and dangerous substances is compelling, and we need action. We cannot bow down to a philosophy of extreme individualism. Such a philosophy undermines the very notion of living in community, where showing care and concern for each other should be the norm - not the exception.
'Here in Central Australia and many other parts of the country, we know that many young people have suffered a very disadvantaged early childhood and experience a lack of self-control as a result of this. These young people need a supportive environment to encourage them against using drugs in an uncontrolled manner,' Ms Ah Chee said.
Senator Rachel Siewert, of the Australian Greens, introduced the Bill into the Senate in March this year, and had only recently mentioned that the legislation was strongly supported by communities and organisations working to eliminate petrol sniffing.
'There is overwhelming support for legislation to give the Minister the power to mandate low aromatic fuel. Organisations in Central Australia, health and drug services and individuals from affected communities have all voiced their support for this legislation,' Senator Siewert said in late September 2012.
Source: Australian Greens and naccho communique
Communications Officer, Media contact for Donna Ah Chee
Central Australian Aboriginal Congress
Ph: (08) 8958 3664
Mobile: 0408 741 691