Mark Coulton MP, Federal Member for Parkes

Coulton’s catch-up for week ending 20 January

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Continuing rollout of Local Drug Action Teams across Australia

The Nationals-Liberal Government is continuing to take action to combat the scourge of ice and other illicit drugs with more Local Drug Action Teams set to rollout across Australia.
Applications are now open for the third round of the Local Drug Action Team (LDAT) program, which helps to bring the community together to develop local plans and activities to prevent and reduce the harm being caused by drugs and alcohol in their regions. LDAT members could include representatives from local councils, schools, police, youth services, primary health services and treatment services, community groups and non-government organisations. 
Any organisation with an interest in tackling drug and alcohol issues in their community is encouraged to apply. Over the next three years, up to 220 LDATs will be established across the country to reduce the impact of drugs, with a particular focus on the drug ‘ice’.
This latest measure is part of the Government’s $298 million National Ice Action Strategy to combat illicit drug and alcohol use. The National Ice Taskforce recognised that taking action at the local level and building community engagement and capacity is vital to reducing the harm that alcohol and other drugs have on individuals, families and communities.
There are now 80 LDATs across Australia representing more than 300 partnerships, but many more communities can benefit from this program. Successful applicants will initially receive $10,000 to help them to develop a local action plan. Once the plan is finalised, LDATs can apply to receive up to an additional $30,000 in their first year (and then $40,000 a year) to support delivery of local activities.
Applications for round three of the LDAT program close 19 February 2018. There will be further opportunities to be part of the program later this year and in 2019. For more information visit www.adf.org.au/ldat

More support for Australia's world-class medical researchers

The Nationals-Liberal Government is announcing new grant funding of almost $12 million to provide further support for Australia’s world-class medical researchers. The funding will assist with research that will offer new hope for people living with rare ataxia disease. Ataxia is a rare and debilitating disease which affects a person’s ability to walk, talk and use fine motor skills. Symptoms include a lack of coordination, slurred speech, difficulty eating and swallowing, eye movement abnormalities, trouble walking, gait abnormalities, tremors and heart problems.
Many people with ataxia may eventually be permanently confined to a wheelchair and in later stages be permanently incapacitated. As part of the Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), a new $1.7 million grant will allow researchers at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the University of Melbourne to conduct separate trials into the benefits of rehabilitation.
In a further boost for ataxia research, Dr Louise Corben from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute will also receive a $431,000 grant. This funding will support Dr Corben’s study into the use of brain stimulation to improve coordination and function in people with Friedreich ataxia – a disease which often shortens life expectancy due to severe heart problems.
 
 
 
Seeking innovative solutions to help preserve the planet’s greatest living wonder 

In a fitting start to the 2018 International Year of the Reef, a $2 million innovation challenge is seeking novel solutions to boost coral abundance on the Great Barrier Reef and restore reefs.
This is an open invitation to our greatest scientific minds, industry and business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions which will protect corals and encourage the recovery of damaged reefs.
Solutions could focus on anything from reducing the exposure of corals to physical stressors, to boosting coral regeneration rates by cultivating reef-building coral larvae that attract other important marine species. 
Applications are now open and invited from across Australia and around the world for the Advance Queensland Small Business Innovation Research challenge: Boosting coral abundance on the Great Barrier Reef. For more information, please visit: http://advance.qld.gov.au

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