LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – I have released the six month review of the Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Act. It attracted 12 submissions, with other feedback contributed through focus groups and client interviews.
This is an opportunity for the community to have a look at the review and comment on the recommendations. There are 48 recommendations, which include many technical changes that will improve operations through the legislation.
It is recommended that legislation making it an offence to abscond from AMT more than three times should be changed. However, the Territory Government is concerned that public drunkenness is a serious issue and we want people to complete their Alcohol Mandatory Treatment order, so we will have to consider this recommendation very carefully before making a decision.
I’ve heard dozens of stories now about how AMT has helped people reconnect with their family and their community, and most importantly improve their health.
Other recommendations include extending the assessment period so clinicians can apply for more time to assess clients who are very intoxicated or sick.
There is also a recommendation for the Territory Government to consider allowing other people into AMT, who do not enter the scheme through the protective custody pathway.
For example, if these changes to the legislation are made, an Emergency Department physician who sees a person come in every night intoxicated may be able to refer this person to AMT.
I look forward to the community’s feedback on the review and continuing our important work in helping hundreds of Territorians who are afflicted by alcoholism to access the rehab they need to be safer and happier, and turn their lives around.
Minister for Alcohol Rehabilitation