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Local Drug Action Team rolling out in Port Hedland

Community groups in Durack are joining forces under a Turnbull Government plan to tackle the scourge of ice, drugs and alcohol at a grass-roots level, delivering support to help those battling drug and alcohol addiction. 
In the latest offensive, the next 40 Local Drug Action Teams (LDATs) have been announced to tackle the challenges being faced by their community caused by ice and other drugs. 
Member for Durack Melissa Price said the Port Hedland Alcohol And Other Drug Management Plan Working Group would receive an initial $10,000 in funding to deliver support services in Durack focusing on the wider Town of Port Hedland area. 
“The primary focus of this LDAT is the prevention of alcohol and other drug-related harm in their community” Ms Price said. 
“Its work will centre on engaging young people and families to provide appropriate education and build resilience.
“We have identified Bloodwood Tree as the lead agency in this action group, and they will be responsible for delivering the program in the region” Ms Price said. 
Across Australia, more than 300 partnerships have been formed between local councils, service providers, schools, police, sporting groups and non-government organisations to bring these teams together to prevent and reduce the harms of drugs.
Over the next three years, 220 Local Drug Action Teams (LDAT) will be established across the country and supported by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation to develop locally focused and responsive action plans to reduce the impact of drugs, with a particular focus on the drug ice.
“The Turnbull Government is providing $19.2 million for the program which will support teams to delivering local health promotion, community-led education and mentoring programs, early intervention and prevention programs, and providing support for vulnerable people to minimise their risk of alcohol and other drug related harms,” Ms Price said. 
This initiative is part of the Government’s $298 million investment over four years to combat illicit drug and alcohol use through the National Ice Action Strategy.
We know a community response to an issue like drug and alcohol misuse is one of the best ways to effectively prevent and reduce the harms caused by drugs.  
Bloodwood Tree Chief Executive Officer Kelly Howlett is pleased that the Port Hedland Alcohol and Other Drug Working Group has been able to transition and join the national LDAT network. 

“Through this process, the Port Hedland proposal will now see an enhanced program of work aimed specifically at reducing the secondary supply of alcohol to local youth” Ms Howlett said. 

“Working collaboratively with the local Youth Involvement Council (YIC), the Town of Port Hedland’s JD Hardie Youth Centre, Mission Australia (PCADS), Western Australian Country Health Service (WACHS), SDERA and Wirraka Maya Aboriginal Health Service, this funding will enable us to develop localised alcohol messages, for an array of media platforms, that will raise the awareness in our community of the potential harmful impact of youth alcohol consumption” said Ms Howlett.
We must also continue to stop these drugs entering Australia and we have already made significant investments in policing our borders and our streets to combat the supply of ice. 
The AFP has seized over 12 tonnes of methamphetamine since January 2013. This included a 903kg haul of ice which was discovered in April this year – Australian largest methamphetamine seizure.
“The roll out of Local Drug Action teams was a key action under the National Ice Action Strategy in response to the recommendations of the National Ice Taskforce, to increase community engagement and action to reduce the harms of drugs,” said Ms Price. 
The first 40 Local Drug Action Teams rolled out in April this year and delivered local drug and alcohol forums for parents and students, mentoring and professional training for at-risk young people, school based reduction programs, and promoted the role of local sporting clubs. 
Interested community groups can apply for the next application round, which opens in late 2017.
Information can be found on the Alcohol and Drug Foundation website

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