In late 2013, Minister Fiona Nash, the Commonwealth Government's Assistant Minister for Health made the decision not to continue funding the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA). The Federal Government had made a commitment in April 2013 to provide funding for ADCA to 2015.
ADCA has a library and information service called the National Drugs Sector Information Service which is used by hundreds of doctors, social workers, psychologists and other health professionals working with the most vulnerable Australian families. The library has a collection of 97,000 essential and often unique items.
16 January 2013 | We have received a response from Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash about the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) library.
In the response, Minister Nash assured us that she understood the historical importance of the National Drug Sector Information Service (NDSIS). “To this end the Department of Health is working with the administrator appointed by ADCA to maintain the NDSIS service during this period and to explore future possibilities for ensuring research information held by the NDSIS remains available to the alcohol and other drug sector, potentially through a transfer to another organisation.”
17 December 2013 | ADCA's deadline for closing has been extended fromt he end of December 2013 to the end of February 2014.
Media release issued by the Australian Library and Information Association: Wednesday 4 December 2013 2pm
Libraries are taking the fight to save the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) to Assistant Health Minister Senator Fiona Nash’s home town of Young, NSW, this weekend.
The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) has taken an advertisement in the Young Witness local newspaper on Friday 6 December and booked a stall at the Farmers’ Market, in Anderson Park, Young, on Saturday 7 December, during the town’s National Cherry Festival. ALIA will be selling books from the ADCA collection to raise awareness of the plight of the organisation, which went into administration last week after promised funding was axed by the Department of Health. The money raised from the sale will go to Lifeline – one of the many charities that use the National Drug Information Service run by ADCA.
ALIA Executive Director Sue McKerracher explained, ‘The ADCA has a library and information service that is used by hundreds of doctors, social workers, psychologists and other health professionals working with most vulnerable Australian families. We hope Senator Nash will be attending the cherry festival and will find time to visit our stall so we can talk to her about the importance of this internationally significant library.’
The library’s collection of 97,000 essential and often unique items, most of which are not available free on the internet or traceable through Google, will be consigned to landfill unless Senator Fiona Nash relents and grants the organisation a reprieve.
Sue McKerracher again, ‘The Australian Government had already promised funding for the ADCA until 2015. By making good on this commitment, the Senator would provide time for the Council to find new funding or a new home for the collection. We hope the Senator will be willing to reconsider the evidence and take on board the reaction of the health community to this closure. Otherwise the vast majority of this irreplaceable collection will be loaded onto trucks, driven away and buried alongside dirty nappies in a big hole outside Canberra. What a waste of the taxpayer’s investment.’
Taking the mortar from the bricks | Drink Tank