The principle of harm minimisation forms the basis of the National Drug Strategy and since 1985 Australia has implemented a comprehensive and balanced approach between the reduction of supply, demand and harm associated with the use of drugs across sectors and jurisdictions.
Under the Australian Government National Drug Strategy Framework, the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy (MCDS) functions as the peak policy and decision-making body in relation to licit and illicit drugs in Australia. In 2001, the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy recognized a need to separately address Indigenous health and formed the National Drug Strategy Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples Reference Group to develop the National Drug Strategy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s Complementary Action Plan 2003-2006 as the flagship for directing future programs and initiatives. The National Drug Strategy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s Complementary Action Plan 2003 - 2009 was endorsed in 2003 and provides a nationally coordinated and integrated approach to reduce drug-related harm among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.
In 2003 when Australian Government expert advisory committees were abolished the Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) the principal advisory council to the Australian Government on alcohol and other drugs policy, recognized the need for ongoing advice on Indigenous drug and alcohol misuse. Supported by the Australian Government an Indigenous Stakeholders Group was established and in Dec 2004 ANCD officially announced the formation of the National Indigenous Alcohol and Drug Committee (NIDAC).
NIDAC’s role is to assist ANCD in providing advice to government on a range of issues that impact on Indigenous communities and ways of addressing the serious drug and alcohol issues that exist for Indigenous Australians, whilst ensuring that Indigenous drug and alcohol issues remain a priority to government. An important component of the NIDAC’s work is to contribute to the development of policy relevant to Indigenous drug and alcohol misuse and ensure that policies, strategies and directions in the drug and alcohol field are consistent with the National Drug Strategy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s Complementary Action Plan.
NIDAC recognizes that it has an important role as the leading voice in Indigenous alcohol and drug use and is accountable for its activities and outcomes in reducing Indigenous alcohol and drug use.
To ensure accountability NIDAC provides: