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Katherine health suffers $6.1m loss after rehabilitation funding redirected

IT HAS been 12 monthssince temporary beat locations were launched in Katherinewith overwhelming results.
杭州桑拿

But the success has come at a cost to the Katherine community after Health Minister John Elferink revealed that the money allocated for a proposed$6.1 million mandatory alcohol treatment facility in the town had been lost to government coffers.

In April, the government announced plans for the facility had been scrapped after statistics showed that only 1.3 people per month in the region qualified for mandatory treatment in light of the success of the TBLs.

Mr Elferink told the Katherine Timeson Monday that the money had been reabsorbed into the NT budget as part of standard procedure.

“Any leftover from any budget in government at the end of the year is then reabsorbed into the central holding authority, which most people would call consolidated revenue,” he said.

The money was reabsorbed prior to this year’s budget, but Mr Elferink said there was no way to easily trackwhatit would now be spent on.

“It won’t be mentioned in a way that you can track a dollar from there to there,” he said.

“We will have rebudgeted for the next year alcohol mandatory treatment or other health services, such as [Katherine’s]very recently developed oncology unit.”

The unit Mr Elferink referred to was primarily fundedby the federal government, with the NT government only committing$500,000 towards the facility.

Shadow Minister for HealthLynne Walker slammed the loss of the $6.1m.

“The [Country Liberal Party] should not be taking away money they promised Katherine;it must be invested into actual legitimate health initiatives,” she said.

“This is Katherine’s money and the CLP have no right to take it away.

“I call on the local Member for Katherine, Willem Westra van Holthe, to stand up for Katherine and stop taking his electorate for granted.”

Mr Westra van Holthe countered thesuggestion andsaid the $6.1mwasnot a significant loss for Katherine, as the scrapping of the facility proved that TBLswere a successful initiative.

“$6mback into the general health budget means there is every likelihood that some of that money would come into Katherine health through other avenues,” he said.

“Really, that’s a great result.”

Katherine Times, NT

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