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Greens look to next step on petrol sniffing.

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Senator Rachel Siewert Australian Greens Senator for WA

MEDIA RELEASE Tuesday, 16 August 2005

Greens look to next step on petrol sniffing

The Greens welcomed the backing by the Senate today of their urgency motion calling for the comprehensive roll-out of BP's vapourless 'Opal' petrol across the central Desert region.

Senator Rachel Siewert called on the Government to move quickly to act on this decision, so the nation could begin the wider task of addressing Indigenous disadvantage.

"Senators from both sides of the House spoke at length today on the tragedy and deprivation they had seen first-hand in the Central Desert," said Senator Siewert, the Greens spokesperson on Indigenous Affairs. "They were united in agreement that removing access to sniffable fuel alone would not solve the deeper causes of this chronic self abuse, arguing that we needed to do more."

"I agree," she said, "Lets get on with it."

In her address to the Senate today Senator Siewert endorsed the following steps:

É Strategies to address petrol sniffing should not be conducted in isolation from treating broader substance abuse, as petrol sniffing is often part of a pattern of drug use that also includes alcohol and cannabis.

É The current Youth Link-Up Program (CAYLUS) should continue to be funded, as this program has demonstrated some success, and is well placed to reduce the high levels of petrol sniffing in the Central Northern Territory.

É Funding should be made available for communities to implement a range of complementary interventions as considered appropriate by each community.

É Fuel companies should be encouraged to support these initiatives, and should benefit from community support for this demonstration of corporate responsibility.

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