Department of the Legislative Assembly

ANSWERS TO WRITTEN QUESTIONS

8 October 2002

17. Detoxification Shelters and Night Patrols

Mr WOOD to MINISTER for HEALTH and COMMUNITY SERVICES

1. Is the minister aware that the reorganisation of detoxification services in Darwin to the itinerant groups, has effectively been reduced and the access to that service made difficult for those seeking help?

2. Is the minister aware that by reducing access to the services described above has removed a vital link in the process between short-term solutions such as Night Patrols and sobering-up shelters, and the long-term goals and more satisfactory outcomes achieved through rehabilitation and a return to community life?

ANSWER

1. Clients requiring withdrawal are assessed and a decision is made on the type of withdrawal that is best for that client. Some clients choose pharmacotherapy (such as buprenorphine or methadone), some choose home-based or outpatient withdrawal and those without stable accommodation are offered community-based withdrawal with the support of a GP.
    It is known that many individuals amongst the itinerant group have multiple relapsing conditions, of which substance misuse is only one condition. Many require hospital management for their other medical and mental health conditions during the withdrawal process. Detoxification is only one part of the interventions required for this group. They require intensive and long-term case management for which few placements are available.
    The former 10 bed medical Detoxification Unit had an average bed occupancy of 53%, with 30% of clients having repeat admissions during the year. The unit had become a place for short-term time-out for some homeless clients before returning to the same lifestyle. The unit closed 30 June 2002 and was replaced by a mixed model of service delivery including outreach withdrawal, outpatient withdrawal, pharmacotherapies and eight placements for community-based withdrawal for clients who wish to change behaviour and complete a treatment program. This range of withdrawal options provides for the needs of a wider range of clients including women, women with children and young people with stable accommodation. It also enables those with full-time employment an opportunity to address their substance problem at a time convenient to them.
    The Department of Health and Community Services is an integral partner in developing the itinerant project to ensure adequate management of intoxication, assessment, withdrawal and ongoing treatment for the itinerant client group. This project will be further developed and piloted during 2003/04.

2. Substance misuse, particularly for the itinerant client group, is a chronic relapsing condition for which there is no single solution. It is considered that every contact with the health system, such as Night Patrol and sobering-up shelter, provides an opportunity for a brief intervention.
    Clients leaving the sobering-up shelter respond best to brief interventions. At this time, most people are not actively considering dealing with their addiction.

    Under the Itinerants Project (see Question 14) a model of Specialist Intervention and Referral Teams will be piloted to provide valuable outreach assessment and counselling to clients at a time when access to liquor is restricted and, therefore, an intervention is far more likely to be successful. This team, consisting of skilled professionally qualified staff, will undertake initial assessments and facilitate entry into an alcohol and drug service, accommodation or other health or community services for all individuals living an itinerant lifestyle, including addressing the needs of women and children.

12 August 2003

41. Impact of Large Scale Agriculture on Key Recreational Fishing Species
in the Daly River

Mr WOOD to MINISTER for PRIMARY INDUSTRY and FISHERIES

Has the government undertaken any environmental research into the potential impacts of the proposed expansion of large scale agriculture on key recreational fishing species in the Daly River.

ANSWER

Research into key indicator species and flow rates has been undertaken by the Northern Territory government. This research has not focussed on key recreational fishing species. The outcomes and recommendations of this work is being taken into account by the Northern Territory government during consideration of annual water extraction rates.

The aim of the five projects undertaken as part of the National River Health Environment Flow initiative was to provide recommendations on the environment flows consistent with maintaining the biota and wider ecosystem values of the Daly River. This research recognised the needs key indicator species and that in addressing the most vulnerable species, other species would be afforded protection. The report also addresses the issues of the incidence of fish kills.

The environmental flow requirements identify the need to maintain fish passageways and critical streamflows that cue various biotic responses.

(See also answer to Question 42)


42. Impact of Large Scale Agriculture Development on Recreational Fishing Industry and Nature-based Tourism in the Daly River

Mr WOOD to MINISTER for PRIMARY INDUSTRY and FISHERIES

Has the government undertaken an assessment of the potential impacts of large scale agriculture development on the recreational fishing industry and nature-based tourism industry in the Daly River.

ANSWER

Key Points:

There is no new large scale, agricultural development planned for the Daly River. The Katherine Daly Basin is the best agricultural area in the NT, (soil and climate) and agriculture production has been intensifying gradually in the area since the NT was settled.

Agricultural development is largely based on more intensive cattle production from improved pastures, with some hay production, irrigated agriculture and horticulture production.

Land clearing and development have occurred at Scott Creek/Willeroo in the 1960s, Tipperary prior to 1990, Douglas Daly in the 1980s, Stray Creek currently, and in the Katherine area throughout the period.

In total, 10% of the basin has been developed over the years without adverse affects on water quality, or adverse affects on recreational fishing, or nature based tourism.

The government is not complacent, or unaware of the possible consequences of over utilisation of natural resources, and to this end, government will be considering the integrated planning framework to be used for the development of the Daly Basin.

The framework will take into account all aspects of land and water resource capability of the area they relate to, along with bio diversity conservation.

It will include the use of the best available information and scientific data, as well as undertaking full consultation with the public and the stakeholders of the area.

The integrated planning framework will provide direction for a Conservation Strategy, a Water Allocation Plan and a Land Use Plan for the Daly Basin.

43. Value of Recreational Fishing and Nature-based Tourism to the Economy of the Daly River region

Mr WOOD to MINISTER for PRIMARY INDUSTRY and FISHERIES

Has the government undertaken an assessment of the economic value of the recreational fishing and nature-based tourism industries to the economy of the Daly River region.

ANSWER

An assessment of recreational fishing in the Northern Territory and estimates of its expenditure are included in ‘Fishcount 95’.

More recently, the Northern Territory was surveyed as part of a National Recreational Fishing Survey during 2000. The report on this survey includes estimates of the expenditure of recreational fishing. The report from the 2000 survey will include a large region that covers the Daly River. The design of the survey will not allow a lower level breakdown of the data.

The government certainly takes into account the economic value to the Territory of nature based tourism in the Daly River region. While the exact economic value is difficult to quantify due to its small size relative to the Territory overall these elements are considered key to the economic value of Daly River Region.

45. Environmental Effects on Recreational Fishing by Expansion of Agriculture in Daly River area

Mr WOOD to MINISTER for PRIMARY INDUSTRY and FISHERIES

Will the government be taking the issues of environmental affects of water requirements of the recreational fishing industry and economic value of recreational fishing to the Territory in the Daly River, before making any further decisions on agricultural expansion in the Daly River area.

ANSWER

The government is not complacent, or unaware of the possible consequences of over utilisation of natural resources, and to this end, government will be considering the integrated planning framework to be used for the development of the Daly Basin.

The framework will take into account all aspects of land and water resource capability of the area they relate to, along with bio diversity conservation.

It will include the use of the best available information and scientific data, as well as undertaking full consultation with the public and the stakeholders of the area.

The integrated planning framework will provide direction for a Conservation Strategy, a Water Allocation Plan and a Land Use Plan for the Daly Basin.
Last updated: 04 Aug 2016