AN award-winning Hunter Valley-based drug and alcohol treatment service will be severely hampered by a federal government funding cut of more than $100,000, staff say.
The Glen runs 36 residential treatment places at its two centres, one at Rothbury in the Hunter Valley and one at Chittaway Point on the Central Coast.
There are often lengthy waiting lists associated with the service and a place can mean the difference between languishing in prison and being given a second chance, assistant co-ordinator Joe Coyte said.
‘‘Sometimes we will return a father to kids who have not had a father for quite a while due to their addictions, Mr Coyte said.
‘‘They are taking the money away that allows us to do the stuff we need to do, so we would be doing half the job. We work hard to run a holistic program. We see the drugs or alcohol often as a symptom. We provide financial counsellors, and other programs to help prevent a relapse.’’
A spokeswoman for the Federal Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said that due to the large number of applications received ‘‘it has not been possible to fund all of them’’.
‘‘I am aware that some currently funded organisations have not been successful and they are understandably disappointed,’’ she said.
‘‘Our goal is to fund high quality drug and alcohol services around Australia. State and territory governments also provide significant funding for drug and alcohol services. There has been no reduction in funding for these programs.’’
She was unable to confirm whether any consideration was given to the geographical distribution of funding.
The Glen, run by the Ngaimpe Aboriginal Corporation, recently won the state-wide Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Network award for ‘‘Program of the Year’’.