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Legal aid decries lack of sniffing rehabilitation

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 23 January 2004


The Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service says it is frustrated there are still no appropriate programs to rehabilitate offenders who are petrol sniffers.

Earlier this week, an Alice Springs magistrate had to postpone sentencing a man from the Mutijulu community because he said there was nothing available for him as a chronic petrol sniffer.

The magistrate remanded him in custody until February 4, pending a pre-sentence report.

The man's lawyer, David Bamber, says the report is unlikely to resolve anything because there is nowhere to send him, despite a cross-border round-table discussion on petrol sniffing six months ago.

A spokesperson for Justice and Health Minister Peter Toyne says petrol sniffing will be a key area in the Health Department's soon-to-be-announced five year plan.

She says it is also announcing grants to address petrol sniffing next week but admits these will only support existing localised programs.


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