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Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs - 20/06/2014 - Harmful use of alcohol in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

ANDREWS, Mrs Denise, Manager, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs

KERR, Ms Robyn Ann, Director, Community Initiatives, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs

VAN ROO, Ms Sandra, Principal Statistician, Queensland Treasury and Trade

Committee met at 09:06 .

CHAIR ( Dr Stone ): I would like to declare the public hearing of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs inquiry into the harmful use of alcohol in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. I would also like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the country in which we are meeting today and I acknowledge their current and past elders.

I welcome everyone here in Brisbane today. I understand that we have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders residing in this area. Please note that these meetings are formal proceedings of the parliament. Everything said should be factual and honest, and it can be considered a serious matter to attempt to mislead the committee. This hearing is open to the public and is being audio broadcast live via the internet. A transcript of what is being said will be placed on the committee's website.

Before we begin proceedings, I welcome representatives from the Queensland government to address the committee. We would invite you to make a brief introductory statement before we proceed to questions and discussions. You gave us a very comprehensive submission; we thank you very much for that. Obviously, you have got a great deal of experience as the Queensland government in understanding the issues that we are inquiring into. Ms Kerr, would you like to commence with an opening statement and the other ladies might like to contribute as well before we go to questions.

Ms Kerr : I am here in a voluntary capacity and we are keen to assist the committee in their inquiries. We have been encouraged to do whatever we can and we will certainly do that.

CHAIR: Thank you.

Ms Kerr : Our understanding is that the committee is interested in a few issues. I will touch on those briefly by connecting the submission with what we understand to be the objectives of this committee.

Firstly, to provide you with some more detail about alcohol management plans: alcohol management plans in Queensland are a group of efforts that aim, on one side, to reduce the supply of alcohol through law enforcement and, on the other side, to reduce the demand for alcohol through delivery of services including rehabilitation services, detoxification services and sport and recreation—a range of services. Public education is another method. On the supply side, DATSIMA works fairly closely with the liquor-licensing function in the Department of Justice and Attorney-General to restrict the supply of alcohol, along with the Queensland police, so there are alcohol restrictions. The work we are talking about here, the scope of it, is with the discrete Indigenous communities in Queensland. Annexure 2 to our submission lists those communities and the current alcohol restrictions. That is on page 20 or thereabouts—page 17-18.

On the supply side, then, we have DATSIMA, liquor licensing and police working collaboratively to make that work. Of course, the restrictions put in place are only as good as the ability to enforce them. Issues with sly-grogging are issues that obfuscate and complicate that arrangement. Reducing the demand for alcohol is also an effort that a number of agencies collaborate on—the Department of National Parks, Sport, Recreation and Racing, Queensland Health and the Australian government Department of Health all play a role in reducing the demand for alcohol with those services on the other side. There are also three pieces of legislation: the Liquor Act, the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities (Justice, Land and Other Matters) Act are all linked to these efforts. The Liquor Act gives powers for putting restrictions in place—carriage limits—and also restrictions on licence premises. The Police Powers and Responsibilities Act is an obvious one; I will not go into that. The justice, land and other matters act gives provision for dealing with home-brew and dry place declarations. It is a fairly complex environment with a number of agencies involved. As I pointed out, annexure 2 is where the list of communities and restrictions—the carriage limits—are listed.

On the status of alcohol management plans in Queensland, the restrictions you see listed there in annexure 2 started to roll out in late 2002 and, if my memory serves me correctly, by 2004 the initial set of carriage limits had rolled out. I think Palm Island was the last and that was a little later than the others. It was a bit of an outlier; Cherbourg as well.

At the moment we are working through a review process with the alcohol management plans in Queensland. There are three components to that review process. The first is that the government is encouraging the development of community-led proposals to review the alcohol management plans for each community. We currently have four of 15 received. In the list you see in annexure 2, there are about 19 communities listed. We are expecting 15 proposals because the northern peninsula area is comprised of a cluster of five communities that will effectively come as one. The four proposals we have received are under consideration and will require further collaborative work between government agencies and the communities to develop them further toward implementation.

The second part is a more general review where we are looking at harm data, considering evidence, and what additional strategies to reduce harm can be put in place and adopted, looking at what has been adopted in other jurisdictions, what has been the effectiveness of the plans over the last 10 years or so, and any unintended consequences of those plans that we might need to address. The planned completion of that second component is late this calendar year, and a third component is a convictions report which looks at whether more people are coming into contact with the criminal justice system as result of the plans. That report has been completed-so that is my general introductory statement.

CHAIR: Thank you, Ms Kerr. Would the other two participants wish to add to those remarks at this stage? Thank you very much. Over to questions, I note that you reminded us, and can we reflect back, that 80 per cent of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland live in urban or large regional centres, and we are not just focusing on remote communities in this inquiry. It was good that you made that point, because we are meeting around Australia and we acknowledge that the majority of Australian Indigenous people are not living in remote communities.

In terms of these AMPs, the management plans, and also AMR programs, you are in the process of reviewing those, but is there something that you can tell us right now? Most of them have been going for about 10 years, and some had complete bans; zero alcohol limit like Kowanyama, while others allowed certain volumes and certain types of alcohol. In your earlier reviews, can you say anything to us between the difference in outcomes in terms of safety in the community or harm in the communities that had total zero carriage versus those that had 11.25 litres, for example, on Palm Island and so on?

Ms Kerr : The initial process around 10 years ago of setting those restrictions was a decision made by government based on a number of inputs. There was harm data and advice from police about whether it was realistic to enforce a particular carriage limit. There was advice provided by liquor licensing and other agencies. All of that input as well as community considerations about what they required in their community became part of a submission, which was considered by government.

CHAIR: Since it is 01 years down the track for a number of these plans, is there anything you can say about trends of consumption? Are there declining or not declining trends of risky drinking, according to how restrictive the alcohol access was in those communities; or is it a substitution issue where people simply drank at risky levels somewhere else if they had zero carriage—

Mr PERRETT: Or home brew, as we heard about yesterday.

CHAIR: Or home brew, yes. Do you see what I am trying to get at? In your early analysis 10 years on, what have you found in relation to strategies and outcomes?

Ms Kerr : As to the extent to which there are problems with the levels of consumption locally, that would be a matter that Queensland Health would be best situated to address. We have some harm data that we have been monitoring over time, so Sandi can address that.

Ms Van Roo : We have not measured consumption per se or events that are alcohol related, because of the way administrative data is recorded. We have taken a broader view of harm, because obviously there is a ripple effect on the community. Before I explain some of the findings, I think that it is worth noting that examining the effectiveness of these AMPs requires an assessment of both quantitative and qualitative data. My agency's role is to examine the quantitative aspects of the data, and we have been looking at outcomes since 2000-2001. It is important to note that the analysis can only detect an association between the AMP event and the data but cannot attribute any changes in offending victimisation and hospitalisation levels—for example, to the AMP or AMP reforms. It is administrative data and collected for operational purposes and, without doing a more controlled trial in a scientific sense, we cannot use the statistical analyses to establish any causal relationship.

CHAIR: So you do not have any preplan data which—

Ms Van Roo : Yes, we do.

CHAIR: we are able to compare with post plan where perhaps different restrictions had suddenly come in; for example, accident and emergency admissions in a local hospital?

Ms Van Roo : We have looked at longer-term trends over time. We have also looked at comparing trends at the community level pre-AMP, during AMP and post reforms. Different communities have different outcomes. In some communities there is quite a distinct relationship between the AMP reforms and AMP events in actual outcomes. In other communities, the count may be too low to detect an association, and other communities are more variable in their outcomes.

But if we ignore the AMP events and look at the trends over time, and let the data tell the story, we have found decreasing trends in annual rates of reported offences against the person in eight communities. The duration of the trend obviously varies depending on the community and when the AMPs came in—we should point out that they came in at different times, so it is quite difficult to make global assessment of outcomes.

The annual report—which you have been provided with—highlights more detail about those community outcomes for six indicators only. We have also looked at the communities aggregated overall, and we found a declining trend in annual rates of reported offences against the person over the five years from 2006-07. By that stage most of the communities had their Alcohol Management Plans in place. That declining trend continued until 2010-11 when we noted a significant increase in reported offences against the person overall, which was driven by increases in some of the larger communities. That increase was sustained in 2012-13.

It is also worth noting that, whilst there has been a decline in reported offences against the person over time, the rates are still much, much higher than state-wide levels, both for reported offences and for hospitalisations for assault related injuries. Both were at least five times the state-wide rate in 2012-13.

Mr PERRETT: But not 30 times?

Ms Van Roo : It would depend on the community, but overall the minimum rate was about five times the state-wide rate depending on which community.

CHAIR: You have given us a lot of data. As you know, one of our aims is to identify best practice. Which strategies work best in terms of harm minimisation? Clearly, that strategy is not going to be a magic one-stop shop which can be applied across the whole continent of Australia, including, for example, into the non-Indigenous community. You said there was a change in trending down in harm which seemed to change in some communities in about 2012. Why was that? Do you have any information about why there would be a change in trending down of harm to trending up again?

Ms Van Roo : No. That would be that qualitative aspect where we would need to go out and talk to communities and the local police.

Mr PERRETT: Was there no change in state government law at all in 2012-13 or 2014?

Ms Kerr : Not that I am aware of.

Mr PERRETT: I know there was a comment from the Premier; a pretty clear statement that he did not automatically assume that Alcohol Management Plans should continue. I cannot remember the words; I think they were mentioned in Aus article—

CHAIR: They required review, I think. Was that the suggestion?

Mr PERRETT: I thought he said that Queenslanders should have the right to go and have a drink as much as anyone.

Mr NEUMANN: During the state campaign, while in opposition, the coalition made it crystal clear that they were going to ease the restrictions on alcohol consumption and use in Indigenous communities in the far north. That was a tenet of their campaign program to win seats in North Queensland.

Ms Kerr : Proving a connection between an event and the data is rather tenuous.

Mr NEUMANN: We do not know. Absolutely. I accept that.

Ms Kerr : We do not know. It is purely speculative. We have discussed the matter ourselves, and again it is purely speculative, but we were wondering whether a lot of the contention and related harm between people in communities might be associated with the availability of social media. We have heard anecdotally a lot of reports of sites such as Facebook and Diva Chat being used to facilitate arguments between people in communities.

CHAIR: Which leads to high risk harm?

Ms Kerr : Well, it leads to more interpersonal tension and potentially to violence.

Mr PERRETT: And arguments continuing when you are in your own sanctuary.

Ms Kerr : Yes. Again, this is purely speculative but that is another possibility.

Mr PERRETT: Also non-alcohol related factors create harm in communities. In some communities I am connected with, the drug ice has become a much more significant problem in the last two or three years. It is cheaper than alcohol and it has become much more available. That could be a factor, couldn't it?

Ms Van Roo : The police, when they record events data, also record whether there were substances involved or not. What we have seen in the data is a decline in what they would refer to as an alcohol related offence. Instead there is an increased recording of 'unknown drug', which would generally imply that they know there is something but they are unable to establish what it was, and only a slight increase in the recording of 'known drug'. So it is quite possible that that might be the case. Anecdotally, we have heard that is the case.

Mr PERRETT: Obviously, if you are being charged with assault you are not also going to say, 'I was under the influence of an illegal drug.'

Ms Van Roo : That is correct. It is up to the police assessment as to whether there was drug involvement. The police assessment does not only refer to the offender; it reports whether there was substance use by the victim as well. It is incident related as opposed to person related.

CHAIR: When police are recording data, do they also record the race of the person so that you know whether it is a Torres Strait Islander or an Aboriginal Australian?

Ms Van Roo : They record self-reported Indigenous status.

CHAIR: So the people are asked?

Ms Van Roo : The intention is that the offender and victim are asked.

CHAIR: So you do have data which identify according to people's—

Ms Van Roo : Yes. Within the discrete community analysis, we do not differentiate by Indigenous status in terms of offending and victimisation and harm because the alcohol restrictions apply to the entire community. It is a community-level outcome as opposed to an Indigenous-level outcome.

Mr NEUMANN: As you know, most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland live in urban areas. CAEPR, at ANU, says that there about 64,000 Indigenous people living in the Brisbane metropolitan statistical area and that that will increase to 133,000 in the next 15 years. What measures are you undertaking to reduce alcohol-related harm and issues in urban areas, particularly in south-east Queensland, where most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live, and around Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Moreton et cetera?

Ms Kerr : In those areas, the arrangements are more mainstream and normalised, so your usual police, liquor licensing and Queensland Health related interventions apply, and they apply to the whole population.

Mr NEUMANN: Are you working with community-controlled Indigenous health services and, if so, what measures are you undertaking in relation to those?

Ms Kerr : The general measures would be issues that you would have to discuss with those other mainstream departments. Our role does not extend into those areas at this point in time.

Mr NEUMANN: So your focus is solely on those remote communities—the 20 per cent of people?

Ms Kerr : At this point in time, yes.

Mr NEUMANN: So you have no role at all in where most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people actually live?

Ms Kerr : No.

Ms Van Roo : In terms of the alcohol—

Ms Kerr : In terms of the AMPs and the alcohol management reviews, no.

Mr SNOWDON: Does that include Cairns? There is a large itinerant population in Cairns, Townsville and Mount Isa. What sort of work is being done in that space to monitor alcohol consumption and its impacts upon the community?

Ms Kerr : Monitoring of those issues would sit with those other departments that I mentioned earlier.

Mr SNOWDON: So there is no comprehensive overall Queensland government strategy to address alcohol?

Ms Kerr : Alcohol management sits with those other departments, not DATSIMA. As for other strategies that might be in place and managed through other departments, I cannot comment on where they might be going.

Ms Van Roo : The Department of Premier and Cabinet would be able to provide you with an overview of the other alcohol-related strategies that are going to be implemented in Queensland.

Mr NEUMANN: Deputy Chair, as by far the majority of Indigenous people live in New South Wales and Queensland, it would be worth suggesting that we get that information from the Queensland government because it would be useful for our inquiry. An article yesterday in The Australian tended to think about the idea that it would be coming from a community-led response rather than a government-led response in these areas. What community responses have been successful, from your observation, in dealing with these remote and regional communities?

Ms Kerr : Community responses have been encouraged recently and we have received four proposals. Those proposals are still proposals at this point—they are yet to be implemented—so we are not yet at a stage where we have seen broad-scale community-led management of alcohol on the ground.

CHAIR: But presumably, following on Mr Neumann's line of questioning, some of these earlier management plans that are 10-year-old or more would have had, more or less, community identification of the strategies and implementation. And you make the point often in your submission that empowering local communities to be central to developing this strategy is key to success.

Ms Kerr : Indeed, yes.

CHAIR: So can you talk about whether some were more or less—

Mr NEUMANN: I agree entirely with the Chair; she is absolutely 100 per cent right. You have been doing this for 10 years, so can you tell us what is successful in those areas?

Ms Kerr : Community justice groups have been involved in developing up the plans. Sandy mentioned earlier that the more qualitative information is important in looking at what has happened. By way of example, the Cape York welfare reform evaluation did a social change survey as part of that evaluation. There are some quite distinct comments in there which I think are quite profound. An anthropologist named John von Sturmer did that social change survey. He has had a long history of involvement with the community of Aurukun, which is one of the communities that we are talking about. He commented in the evaluation—and it is a publicly available document—that 10 years ago in Aurukun he would be confronted by people wanting to talk to him about access to alcohol. They saw alcohol as being connected with winning the right to vote and a number of other human rights. They saw access to licensed premises as a human right. In his recollection and in his account in that evaluation, he says that was the primary issue for people 10 years ago. In the social change survey which he conducted in, I think 2012 or 2013, he said he was quite astonished when speaking to people in Aurukun 10 years later that people were more concerned about opportunities for their family and children in education and employment. To me, it is phenomenal to have a community go from the one place to the other within 10 years, and that is what we are all working for.

The problem we have in dealing with this complex issue is that it really goes back to the social and economic determinants of disadvantage. When you are living in an isolated place that has little opportunity for work and for your children, it is the sort of environment that breeds substance abuse. So to actually get to that point where the community has a different outlook is quite phenomenal. It is a fragile change though, and it needs to be protected and followed up with other initiatives. But, fundamentally, we are talking about community development issues and how we address generations of disadvantage. It is not an easy thing to crack.

CHAIR: You are talking about the social determinants of alcohol abuse and other substance abuse?

Ms Kerr : Absolutely.

CHAIR: A high risk of harm and abuse?

Ms Kerr : Yes.

Mr NEUMANN: Those community justice groups have been defunded in metropolitan areas by the current government on a regular basis over time—and I can point to a number of them. Has the funding continued for them in remote and regional areas up there?

Ms Kerr : I cannot comment. The Department of Justice and Attorney-General is responsible for that funding.

Mr NEUMANN: We should ask that as well because the evidence from Robyn is clearly that they play an important role.

CHAIR: I would like to talk about some FASD issues which you identified in your report too.

Mr PERRETT: I want to look at the qualitative data in terms of days of attendance at school, murders, assaults and volumetric sales of alcohol. I do not think we collect that in Queensland, is that right?

Ms Kerr : Not for the discrete communities because there are not any sales—theoretically!

Mr PERRETT: There are still problems with getting that volumetric data anywhere in Queensland—that is the evidence we have had before. You are saying there are some long-term trends. Can that be shown graphically in terms of murders, assaults, school attendance—some graphs that would have some pretty clear images of what is going on. Or because the communities are grouped together it is a bit problematic, is it?

Ms Van Roo : I can probably answer this one. As I said, there is a high level of variability between some of the communities. But we have also done some analyses aggregating that together—only for reported offences against the person and good order offences—because we know that the police data is the most robust that we have got access to. Obviously, school attendance is also robust data, but in terms of aggregating that, I do not think that would be very useful.

Mr PERRETT: I think that is a Commonwealth program that might extract some of that data, but it is harder to show it. It is only one indicator, but—

Ms Van Roo : There is a national student attendance collection for semester 1 every year. We have aggregated the discrete communities together in terms of attendance using that data. The graph is figure 7 in the annual highlights report. The top heavy line there is the state-wide public school non-Indigenous student attendance rate for semester 1 of 2013. The line below it is the Indigenous state school attendance rate. The dashed line below that, which is at least 10 percentage points lower in primary school and 20 percentage points lower in high school, is the discrete community attendance rate for that particular year. We have done some time series analyses on that, but you can imagine that by year level it is quite complicated.

Mr PERRETT: Yes, and small communities.

Ms Van Roo : Yes, small communities.

Mr PERRETT: A family leaving town or something could change things.

Ms Van Roo : Yes, big families have a big impact. We did look at one particular community in terms of shifts in the patterns of attendance, so students who attended 90 per cent of the time, students who attended I think 70 to 90 per cent of the time, 50 to 70 per cent of the time and so on. We looked at that over time, and what we saw in that particular community was an increase in the proportion of students who were attending at higher levels over time.

Mr NEUMANN: The current federal government put $46 million towards truancy officers—they took it from the Remote Jobs and Community Program and put it towards this. Today on ABC Radio there was a big discussion about its success or otherwise in a north-western Indigenous community in New South Wales—I cannot remember which one it was.

Mr PERRETT: Boggabilla.

Mr NEUMANN: Do we know if we have any truancy officers funded by the federal government in any of these remote communities?

Ms Kerr : There are the initial communities—but this is a federal government program?

Mr NEUMANN: Yes, that is right. It is a federal government program, not your state truancy officers. This is a special federal orange army type, you know.

Ms Kerr : That is something that would have to be verified by the relevant department of the Australian government. I am aware that the first five communities in Queensland that that initiative was rolled out in were Camooweal, Doomadgee, Mornington Island, Palm Island and one other, which I would have to get back to you on.

Mr NEUMANN: It is a great effort, thank you.

CHAIR: Is it too early to make any comment on outcomes of those officers?

Ms Van Roo : We do not have semester 1 2014 data yet.

Ms Kerr : That initiative only commenced this calendar year.

Mr NEUMANN: That is right.

Mr PERRETT: We have got one more week of school.

CHAIR: Okay. You will know one of our terms of reference is to look closely at Indigenous women drinking and the impacts on the unborn, the foetal alcohol spectrum disorder outcomes. You have talked to us about the difficulty in giving us trend data, but have you any data to show that there are more women drinking alcohol, more women of childbearing age? And have you got any data at all about children or individuals with FAS-FASD? We are all very aware on this committee of the difficulties of diagnosis, but what can you tell us about FASD? In your submission—on about page 9—you talk about the implications; you are very aware of the problems associated with it. You tell us about the diagnostic eligibility that you use in Queensland, which I am pleased to say includes cognitive impairments, so that captures FAS-FASD victims. Can you tell us any trends you have observed and what strategies you might be putting in place for those who might be identified as victims to help them better? Or are there any in-community strategies for women who are perhaps alcohol addicted or drinking heavily when they are pregnant?

Ms Kerr : These would be matters that would be better directed to Queensland Health or the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services—we do struggle with the departments that have very long names—as those disabilities and those addiction issues are managed by those agencies.

CHAIR: Are you aware if they have any strategies, any particular intervention strategies or other ways of assisting women who become pregnant and who are heavy drinkers?

Ms Kerr : I do understand that there are initiatives in place directed at teenage girls in particular, but, again, that would be a matter that you would need to direct to Queensland Health.

CHAIR: In your submission you mentioned the social determinants of alcohol, the management plans and so on. One matter you do not touch on is the issue of access and pricing and its impact on consumption levels. Does the Queensland government have any view about the price of alcohol and tax regimes? Clearly there have been experiments in some communities where alcohol has been banned altogether and others where some has been allowed. Have you had any observations about the price of alcohol in those communities and whether sly grog or home-brew has been substituted where alcohol has been too expensive? Do you have anything to say about that business of supply?

Ms Kerr : Yes. We are aware that in communities where sly grogging occurs people can pay up to $300 for a bottle of spirits.

CHAIR: This is a community, presumably, that is a dry community.

Ms Kerr : Or it might not be a dry community. Some of these communities might already have access to alcohol, but it might be a particular type of alcohol that is allowed, such as mid-strength beer. In those circumstances, sly groggers might be delivering bottles of spirits. I think where people have an addiction issue, price can lead to other disadvantages by virtue of spending that amount of money. So sly grog is an issue that needs further treatment, and that is an issue that we are looking at and looking to progress during the course of this year. That strategy is one that is under development and more will be known about the decisions on that later during the course of this year. You asked about price and you had another part to your question.

CHAIR: We have had a lot of evidence about price being an influence on consumption levels, and some have talked about a minimum price being set with alcohol to make it more expensive and therefore less likely to be purchased. That is often the suggestion of what the relationship is between price and consumption. Some people talk about a volumetric tax being preferable, where the volume of alcohol in the product is reflected in the tax and, therefore, the price. Have you had any particular thoughts about that as a government or observed anything in relation, as you have just said, to $300 for a bottle of—is that a litre?—of spirits?

Ms Kerr : I do not know. That would depend on what was being delivered. But we are aware that up to that price can be fetched for a bottle.

CHAIR: I want to ask you about sly grogging. Who, in fact, is doing the sly grogging, if I can call it that, and who is making the home-brew?

Ms Kerr : Who is doing the sly grogging?

CHAIR: Is it the local community?

Ms Kerr : That would be a matter for police. I believe that there are a range of different people who might be involved—locals and people who are not locals.

CHAIR: I am wondering whether you have got any information about whether or not they are local people.

Ms Kerr : That would be a matter for Queensland police to provide advice on.

Ms Van Roo : The convictions for breaches of alcohol restrictions report would also provide some information about the demographic characteristics of those people who have actually been charged and convicted of breaching the carriage limits, and in some cases that would include people who are sly grogging.

Mr SNOWDON: I have just one question on rehabilitation. I notice in your submission that the reference to rehabilitation centres refers largely to Commonwealth funded centres in the north. Are there any state funded rehabilitation centres anywhere in Queensland?

Ms Kerr : I believe there are. Queensland Health could provide details on those centres.

Mr SNOWDON: Are you aware of any state based interventions in terms of the demand side which impact upon individuals in a positive way?

Ms Kerr : Yes. There are diversion services and there are also a range of services that are co-funded by the Queensland and Australian governments in the health area.

Mr SNOWDON: So we are talking to the wrong people.

CHAIR: Yes. We obviously need to be talking to some health and police people.

Mr NEUMANN: We need a detailed response from the Queensland government. The evidence we are getting here today is very limited. It is a good submission, but, beyond that, the terms of reference are much wider than the evidence you have given.

Ms Ker r : The list of agencies that I provided at the beginning as part of the opening statement points you to the role of the agencies.

Mr NEUMANN: Thank you.

CHAIR: We want to thank you for making your submission today and for giving us the written report. You will receive a transcript of your evidence and you can obviously check that and correct any problems with it. As well as that, if you have any other information that you wish to supply us, please send that through to the secretary. We do thank you most sincerely for coming along.