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Two different volatile substance use prevention programs are experiencing uncertain funding futures due to confusion over contracts.
The Makin' tracks program, an initiative run by the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council (ADAC) of South Australia, lost three key staff in June due to 'bureaucratic wrangling'.
Scott Wilson, ADAC Director, said he was advised in mid-June the program would get its annual $300,000 from the Australian Department of Health, but without a contract he was unable to continue to employ staff.
The Makin' tracks program provides immediate interventions in remote communities across Australia when they suffer a petrol-sniffing 'outbreak'. A Health Department spokeswoman said the program's funding had been extended until next June.
And in the Northern Territory, the Central Australian youth link up service (CAYLUS) also expects to lose about $300,000 in annual funding for youth diversion services from next July.
CAYLUS coordinator, Blair McFarland, said that there needed to be a more equitable distribution of funding, including of prevention measures, instead of channelling the money through the Northern Territory intervention.
'It's like disbanding the fire brigade,' he said. 'There are constant outbreaks of sniffing. The problem isn't going away and it isn't going to go away while kids are so disadvantaged.'
Source: The Australian