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Immediate action needed on petrol sniffing in Balgo: Greens.



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Rachel Siewert Immediate action needed on petrol sniffing in Balgo - Greens Media Release | Spokesperson Rachel Siewert

Thursday 27th August 2009, 11:05am

in Indigenous Rights Drugs Indigenous Health Petrol & Solvent Sniffing

The Australian Greens today called on the Government to act to immediately address an outbreak of petrol

sniffing in Balgo Hills.

"I'm deeply upset. After such success in tackling petrol sniffing in Balgo, this problem is now reoccurring because

a local roadhouse is allowed to continue selling regular fuel and because funding for youth diversionary programs

has not continued," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

A Senate committee inquiry yesterday in Broome heard of a new outbreak of petrol sniffing in the remote WA

c

entral desert community involving around sixteen young Aboriginal community members.

"The Rabbit Flat roadhouse has refused to cooperate with the Federal program that subsidises the provision of

non-aromatic Opal fuel. There is no excuse for this refusal. This is a matter of community health and safety. It is

time that the Commonwealth stepped in and either required compliance or imposed sanctions," said Senator

Siewert.

"The failure to continue to fund a youth-worker position in the community is short-sighted in the extreme. There

needs to be two youth workers - one male and one female - permanently stationed in the community and properly

resourced to provide diversionary activities."

"I am deeply upset by this situation. The issue was under control and the community had worked hard to rectify

the impacts of petrol sniffing on the development of their youth and the safety of their community. We cannot

afford to let this issue slip, as we do not want to see a return to the bad times," she concluded.

For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180

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