My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Mental Health. The action I seek is for the Minister to make publicly available the amounts of funding provided to each of the initiatives listed on the health.vic website’s AOD ‘Prevention and harm reduction programs’ page. Ideally, this should include all past expenditure, as well as information for the current financial year and the forward estimates. I would also be interested to know if there is information that can be provided that points to specific outcomes or KPIs that have been achieved from the funding.
Just quickly, the items on that page are:
• the needle and syringe program;
• Harm Reduction Victoria;
• the DOPE program;
• Good Sports;
• the PARTY program; and
• various initiatives through the Australian Drug Foundation, including ‘Drug Facts’, the ‘Drug Info line and email service’; ‘ADF search’; and other research.
There currently appears to be no information readily available publicly on either the funding or the outcomes.
And the lack of initiative-by-initiative funding data on the public record was certainly confirmed to me recently through checking with the Parliamentary Library (and, through them, the Departments of Treasury & Finance, and Health & Human Services). I don’t intend to use this contribution to make specific arguments either for or against pill testing.
But, given the current prominence of that debate, I think it would be particularly timely (and I would be grateful) if the Minister could consider changing Government practice and begin disseminating the various forms of data to which I’m referring. Not only in the name of offering greater practical information about each of the Government’s initiatives in the area of prevention and harm reduction. But also increased insight into their cost effectiveness.