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A new report evaluating the effectiveness of the Australian Government's Petrol sniffing strategy (PSS) has found a reduction in petrol sniffing has been achieved primarily through the roll out of low aromatic fuel and the introduction of additional youth services.
As part of the PSS, the Australian Government will invest more than $1 million in 13 projects to help people tackle substance use in remote communities across Western Australia, Queensland, Northern Territory and South Australia.
The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, said the funding would deliver much needed projects, including youth activities, health promotion resources and prevention and education activities. These projects will complement the use of low aromatic fuel in these areas.
‘Having healthy and positive activities available to keep young Indigenous people engaged is vital, particularly in remote communities. We have worked directly with local organisations and the community to identify projects that will help tackle substance misuse, particularly among young people', Ms Macklin said.
The Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, said that there are 129 sites at present supplying low aromatic fuel throughout Australia with planning underway to expand the rollout to at least 39 new sites across northern Australia in the latter half of 2013.
‘This evaluation demonstrates that the rollout of low aromatic fuel continues to have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of young Indigenous people and their communities.'
The evaluation makes a number of recommendations, including; establishing a national multiagency remote Indigenous youth strategy, broadening the PSS to include other volatiles, and project funding to be directed primarily to those regions receiving low aromatic fuel.
Source: Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Whole of strategy evaluation of the Petrol sniffing strategy:future directions for the PSS: final report