Alice Springs’ alcohol support sector says significant funding is needed to address alcohol-related harm

Dire funding shortfalls are hampering efforts to curb alcoholism in Central Australia, according to the drug and alcohol sector’s peak body, which says some treatment services have received so little attention that their buildings cannot safely be occupied.

Rising rates of alcohol-related harm have remained in the political spotlight since snap liquor restrictions were introduced to Alice Springs in response to spiraling law-and-order issues last week.

A report handed to the federal and Northern Territory governments yesterday recommended urgent new restrictions as well as needs-based funding to properly resource the justice system and remote services.

But Peter Burnheim from peak body Association of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies said meeting demand in the drug and alcohol sector alone would require enormous commitments for infrastructure, treatment programs and workforce development.

He told the ABC one residential rehabilitation service in Alice Springs had to move clients to another facility because some of its buildings were falling apart.

“We’re constantly told there’s no money for the sector. It can’t continue,” he said.

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