The Seeing the Clear Light of Day: Expert Reference Group on Decriminalising Public Drunkenness report in Victoria states
There is a clear, compelling and urgent imperative to overhaul Victoria’s current approach to people who are intoxicated in public. The current punitive, criminal justice led response to intoxicated people is unsafe, unnecessary and inconsistent with current community standards. A safer, sensible health- based approach is required that ensures the health and safety of all Victorians, particularly our most vulnerable.
Ever since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, calls for the decriminalisation of public drunkenness in Victoria have been strong, sustained and spirited. Numerous reports during the past 30 years have added to the Royal Commission’s clear call for decriminalisation, including the Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee’s Inquiry into Public Drunkenness in 2001 and the Victorian Parliament’s Implementation Review of the Recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in 2005.
While the numerous recommendations have been gathering dust, the devastating human impacts of the criminalisation of public drunkenness have continued. The death in police custody of Tanya Day – a much-loved mother, grandmother and a proud Yorta Yorta woman – has been a clarion call for change. Ms Day’s story embodies the tragic human consequences of the continuing criminalisation of public drunkenness in Victoria – a punitive scheme that has widespread unjust, discriminatory and intergenerational impacts on vulnerable Victorians.
Very regrettably, Ms Day’s story reflects a much larger, systemic issue across Victoria. The human impacts of the criminalisation of public drunkenness are borne out clearly in the data. What the data tells us is that the criminalisation of public drunkenness discriminates against vulnerable people, and in particular Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, Sudanese and South Sudanese communities, people experiencing homelessness, substance abuse and people experiencing mental health.
What the data also tells us is that this reform is eminently achievable. It paints a clear picture that: • the total numbers of incidences of public intoxication are very low, at 159 per week • there is a significant ’low intensity’ cohort of people, with the vast majority of people (84 percent) entering custody in these circumstances only once. However, there is also a small ’high intensity’ cohort (6.5 percent) who are responsible for over a quarter of all public intoxication offences; and • there are a small number of ’high demand’ Local Government Areas (LGAs) where a higher number of public intoxication offences occur.
While the imperative for change is overwhelming, we are convinced that the changes required to give effect to a health-based response are not. Our work over the last year tells us that there is a clear path away from criminalisation and towards an effective health-based response to public intoxication.
Based on data, consultations with the community and experts and drawing on the salient lessons of decriminalisation in other jurisdictions, this report outlines our Proposed Health Model for the decriminalisation of public drunkenness in Victoria.
The design of a new health-based model to respond to public intoxication must begin with the fundamental premise that no one should be placed into a police cell simply because they are intoxicated in public.
In order to eliminate the use of police cells for public intoxication, there must be safe places available that are accessible and appropriate to meet the health and safety needs of people who are intoxicated. We adopt a ‘supply and demand’ framework to identify the service system response that is required, based on current data on public drunkenness offences being the most appropriate indicator of expected demand for placements.
This report outlines the public health approach that is required to achieve this transition. Our Proposed Health Model comprises five key stages: • First response • Transportation to a place of safety • Meeting the immediate health needs of an intoxicated person • Providing health and social care pathways for high needs individuals • Broader prevention strategies.
An effective health-based approach demands a cultural shift in the characterisation of intoxication as a health rather than a law enforcement issue. The primary First Responders should be personnel from health or community services organisations, such as outreach services (including existing outreach programs associated with homelessness services), alcohol and other drugs (ADO) services and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs). While emergency services such as Victoria Police and Ambulance Victoria will play an important role, a range of health-based services must be supported to meet the levels of expected demand across the state.
The preferred and default position is that an intoxicated person organises his/her own transport or does so with the assistance of family or friends. In situations where this is not possible due to health or safety risks, a range of new transport options will be required. Victoria Police will only have a role to play in the transportation of an intoxicated person when there are no other options available. The new range of transport options, in combination, will need to be capable of responding to the expected demand based on geography, time distribution and particular individual circumstances, including health needs and cultural safety.
Places of safety
Places of safety are essential to ensuring the health and wellbeing needs of intoxicated people are addressed. Depending on the circumstances, intoxicated people who pose a safety risk to themselves and/or others should, in general, be transported to a private residence, an emergency department or urgent care centre if they require urgent medical care, or a sobering service if they require a short recovery period and cannot be cared for elsewhere.
New sobering services are integral to our Proposed Health Model. Based on the data, seven new sobering services in high demand areas will provide the capacity to meet the variances in demand across the state. In regional and rural locations where there is much lower demand, the best health response solutions should be locally devised involving engagement of health services and the communities they serve. The expansion of the sobering services network should be combined with modular ’pop-up’ services to expand capacity in a rapid and flexible manner to respond to demand associated with specific sporting or cultural events.
Health and social care pathways and broader prevention strategies
A significant minority of people who present intoxicated in public more frequently are likely to be experiencing complex health and welfare challenges that are contributing to their drinking patterns. Increased access to follow-up or ongoing support is a key element of an effective public health approach to public intoxication. This requires improved service pathways and targeted approaches, such as filling the gaps in AOD services for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.
Under a public health approach, broader prevention strategies also play a valuable and effective role in reducing the impacts of high-risk drinking by addressing underlying causes.
The path forward
The major thrust of our recommendations is clear – an effective health-based service system response to public intoxication is absolutely essential for the proposed reforms to be effective. Cultural safety considerations must be at the core of both design and implementation. This requires ongoing consultation and co-design with health services and their staff and with particularly affected communities, such as Aboriginal and CALD communities, to ensure that localised responses are developed that are tailored and effective.
In light of the complexity involved in the development of the Proposed Health Model, we recommend that a phased implementation take place over a two-year transition period. This will enable the model to be trialled and statewide service infrastructure put in place before full decriminalisation takes effect.
With detailed attention given to implementation of our Proposed Health Model, we are confident that a shift from a criminal justice approach to a health-based model is both realistic and attainable.
While the journey to decriminalisation in our state has been long and painful, Victoria now has the opportunity to leapfrog other Australian states and territories and be at the forefront with the development of an innovative and transformative health-based approach to public intoxication.
Once the shackles of a criminal justice approach to public intoxication have been shed, there can be no going back. The path ahead lies in a comprehensive health-led response that recognises public intoxication for what it is – a public health issue and not one that can be addressed by a blunt and reactive criminal justice approach.
There is strong community support. The Victorian Government’s commitment is clear. Now is the right time for this long overdue reform to begin. Now is the time to see the clear light of Day.
The recommendations are
The ERG’s recommendations for a public health response to public intoxication cover the following: • a public health response to public intoxication • various phases required to adopt the ERG’s Proposed Health Model; and • key implementation considerations relating to the successful transition away from the current criminal justice response.
The journey to decriminalisation
1. The Expert Reference Group acknowledges the Victorian Government’s acceptance of the coronial findings made by the Deputy State Coroner in the Inquest into the Death of Tanya Day and strongly encourages their full implementation by the Attorney-General, Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, CEO of V/Line and Secretary of the Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS).
Implementing a public health approach to public intoxication
2. The Victorian Government repeals the offence of public drunkenness in sections 13, 14 and 16 of the Summary Offences Act 1966 to achieve the decriminalisation of public drunkenness. 3. The Victorian Government ensures no person is detained in a police cell solely for being intoxicated in public.
4. The Victorian Government should adopt a ‘supply and demand’ approach that identifies the current number of public drunkenness offences as the most likely indicator of the number of placements that that will be required in sobering and other health services under the Proposed Health Model.
5. The Victorian Government ensures the implementation of the Proposed Health Model takes into account the need for holistic health-based responses that are also capable of responding to drug use and experiences of mental health, including dual diagnosis, where possible.
6. The Victorian Government undertakes further consultation to ensure that the management of intoxicated people, who have committed criminal offences, and are incarcerated in police cells can be more effectively supported and comply with the mandatory terms of Victoria Police’s governing policy and procedures, including proper medical supervision and access to health treatment where required.
Stage 1: First responders Roles and functions of first responders
7. All first responders under the public health model (whether justice-based or health-based first responders) perform their respective roles and functions in such a way as to ensure the health and safety of individuals who are intoxicated in public, consistent with the principles underpinning the public health model.
First response services and agencies
8. The Victorian Government considers how the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) process can change regarding determining what tasks can be referred to certain response agencies in order to promote a health-based response to incidents of public intoxication. This should include how such alternate agencies can be facilitated through such a process – having regard to the contractual arrangements ESTA has with emergency services agencies.
Consent and powers of Victoria Police Threshold for police powers
9. The Victorian Government establishes a legislative basis for Victoria Police to detain an intoxicated individual in strictly limited circumstances, including that: a) the Victorian Government defines intoxication within the legislation as ‘affected or apparently affected by alcohol or a drug or other substance to such an extent that there is a significant impairment of judgement or behaviour’ b) the Victorian Government limits the threshold for police with regards to someone who is intoxicated to ’serious and imminent risk of significant harm to the intoxicated individual or other individuals’ c) the Victorian Government explores the appropriate assessment of this threshold which should have an objective element, such as a reasonable person test.
Strict limits to police powers
10. The Victorian Government establishes a legislative basis for Protective Services Officers (PSOs) within Victoria Police be given the power to detain an intoxicated individual in an existing designated place and is at serious and imminent risk of significant harm to themselves or others, recognising the safeguards contained in other recommendations.
11. The Victorian Government does not extend the power to detain an intoxicated individual who is at serious and imminent risk of significant harm to themselves or others to any other cohort.
12. The Victorian Government legislates to ensure detention ceases at the moment that the threshold of serious and imminent risk is no longer met, whether this is due to a change in the environment or the person’s personal circumstances (e.g. their degree of intoxication has sufficiently decreased).
13. The Victorian Government limits the power to detain an intoxicated individual who is at serious and imminent risk of significant harm to themselves or others for no longer than 60 minutes. Any exception to this time limit required to arrange a safe placement should require the authority of a Divisional Patrol Supervisor or Inspector.
14. The Victorian Government does not establish a specific offence as a result of the establishment of police powers to detain for the purpose of making inquiries to identify a place of safety for an intoxicated person.
15. The Victorian Government implements a review process for any charges laid in relation to assault police arising from attempts to escape by a superior officer, such as an Inspector.
Conditions of detention and use of force
16. The Victorian Government takes steps to ensure that in accordance with the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006, Victoria Police exercise their powers to give effect to the least restrictive means of achieving their objective, in terms of both the decision to detain and the nature of restraint employed.
17. The Victorian Government ensures Victoria Police takes steps to ensure the full protection of the health of persons in their custody and in particular, shall take immediate action to secure medical attention whenever required.
18. The Victorian Government explores and consults with relevant stakeholders on how to ensure treatment during and conditions of detention of intoxicated people are consistent with relevant state and international human rights obligations and principles. This includes ensuring effective independent oversight of the detention of intoxicated people that is consistent with the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT).
19. Victoria Police takes steps to ensure officers use force only when strictly necessary, and the force used must be proportionate to the circumstances. The degree and nature of the force used must account for the fact that the purpose of the power to detain is to keep the person safe from harm. Thus, any use of force must be used by exception and the force used itself minimal.
Limits on police discretion
20. The Victorian Government creates comprehensive regulations, guidelines, policies and procedures on the operationalisation of the legislation, to ensure police discretion is applied appropriately and reasonably to all members of the community.
21. The Victorian Government establishes legislation to ensure police discretion in assessing whether a location is a safe place is limited, including but not limited to risk of family violence and instances where the intoxicated person is behaving or is likely to behave so violently that a responsible person would not be capable of taking care of and controlling them.
22. Victoria Police provides police officers and PSO with training on the legislative amendments, regulations, guidelines, policies and procedures and be provided ongoing refresher training.
23. Victoria Police provides police officers and PSO with training on systemic racism, unconscious bias, culturally appropriate service delivery, effective communication, de-escalation and conflict resolution, and be provided ongoing refresher training.
24. Victoria Police provides police officers and PSO with training on mental health and disability and be provided with ongoing refresher training.
Record keeping obligations of police
25. Victoria Police keeps detailed records of the enquiries they make in relation to locating a safe place for the person, including any reasons for concluding that the location is not a safe place, such as risk of family violence.
Publicly available information
26. Victoria Police ensures guidelines, policies, procedures and training and other similar materials are publicly available.
27. The Victorian Government considers making disaggregated data relating to police assistance provided with consent, and police intervention without consent, publicly available. This information should include, but not be limited to, information with regards to whether people are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, CALD status, homelessness, gender, disability and age.
28. The Victorian Government implements public reporting on the exercise of new police powers and other relevant powers that may be used more frequently subsequent to the reform (e.g. move on powers), as well as arrests for other minor offences.
Internal police oversight
29. Victoria Police ensures authorisation of any charges that arise from an incident of public intoxication should be authorised by an Inspector.
30. Victorian Government, in consultation with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and Victoria Police, considers the introduction of a mandatory requirement that where an intoxicated Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person is detained and/or transported for their safety by Victoria Police they be subject to sections 464AAB and 464FA of the Justice Legislation Miscellaneous Amendment Act 2018.
31. The Victorian Government empowers an oversight body, such as the Victorian Ombudsman, to adjudicate complaints and conduct investigations in relation to the implementation and operation of these reforms by police. This should include oversight of up-charging practices by police, and the treatment of people detained and conditions of detention during transport.
Accountability for police negligence and abuse of power
32. The Victorian Government ensures any abuse of power by police to circumvent the limitations on powers to detain an intoxicated person must be treated seriously and they should be held accountable.
33. The Victorian Government undertakes further research and consultations to establish an offence in relation to negligent conduct when detaining an individual who is intoxicated.
Stage 2: Transport to a place of safety
Guaranteeing transport coverage and availability
34. The Victorian Government supports outreach teams and sobering services to have a transport capability attached to their service or work together with separate transport teams to achieve the most effective and efficient management of demand.
35. The Victorian Government ensures that the proposed implementation phase gives local areas an opportunity to test a range of low-demand transport models, including the identification and development of local partnerships.
36. The Victorian Government ensures that the implementation phase monitors the impact on police and ambulance emergency services, including impact on response time performance measures.
Consent and powers
37. The Victorian Government establishes a legislative basis for Victoria Police to transport an intoxicated individual to a place of safety in strictly limited circumstances, including that: a) there be a legislative obligation that police exhaust all other avenues by which an intoxicated person could be transported to a safe place, and that police transport be a last resort b) the Victorian Government does not establish a specific offence as a result of the establishment of police powers to transport intoxicated individuals to a place of safety c) the Victorian Government ensures that all limits, thresholds and accountability measures in relation to the power to apprehend and detain, as outlined in Part 7 of this report, apply to the exercise of the limited power to transport intoxicated individuals to a place of safety.
38. The Victorian Government establishes a transport safety standard to ensure the safe transport of intoxicated people.
Stage 3: Places of safety
39. The Victorian Government ensures intoxicated people who pose a safety risk to themselves and/or others should, in general, be transported to one of three safe place locations to sober up, including to: a) their home or other private residence where it is determined that the individual is at low- risk and can be adequately and safely cared for by family or friends b) an emergency department or rural trauma and urgent care centre where it is determined the individual requires urgent medical assessment and/or care; or c) a health or sobering service where it is determined the individual does not require emergency care but still requires a short period of recovery and detoxification and/or cannot be cared for safely elsewhere.
40. The Victorian Government ensures that a home or other safe private residence remain the preferred and default safe place option to assist people with sobering needs. Wherever possible and appropriate, an intoxicated person should be safely cared for by family or friends in order to minimise the impost on health services. Additionally, people who reside alone should not by default be taken to a sobering service simply because they do not have someone to care for them.
41. The Victorian Government ensures the key elements of intake, assessment, monitoring, further assessment and intervention form the model of care for sobering services in Victoria that comprises: a) outreach and transport services as a key element of a model of care for sobering services in Victoria b) the workforce for sobering services should be multidisciplinary and at a minimum including a health practitioner, such as a registered nurse, and reflect the profile and the needs of the population and region it serves c) a staff to client ratio between 1:6 and 1:8, which would be a reasonable starting point subject to detailed implementation planning for each location and any variations to a core model.
42. The Victorian Government considers modular health spaces as an infrastructure approach to trialling heath responses as part of the proposed implementation phase, given they are an increasingly accepted part of the health infrastructure mix, offering expanded capacity that can be deployed rapidly and flexibly to meet need.
43. The Victorian Government expands the Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug (ADO) Hubs model of care to enable them to provide sobering services as part of their model of care. This may require additional government investment above that initially allocated. 44. The Victorian Government supports the re-location and substantial expansion of Ngwala Willumbong Sobering Service to service Melbourne’s northern region which will require additional government investment.
45. The Victorian Government considers whether the rural trauma and urgent care centres could be an effective option for provision of sobering services, and if so, infrastructure may need to be boosted to provide dedicated sobering up placements, where required.
46. The Victorian Government enhances the capability of the existing health system in areas of low demand in regional and rural Victoria to enable medically supervised sobering up placements.
47. The Victorian Government establishes both permanent and ’pop-up’ sobering services in LGAs with high demand. The permanent services should operate 24-hours a day seven days a week, with capacity to scale up services at peak times.
Consent to medical treatment
48. The Victorian Government establishes a legislative basis for medical practitioners to apprehend or detain an intoxicated individual, where they do not consent to treatment, in strictly limited circumstances, including that: a) the Victorian Government defines intoxication within the legislation as ‘affected or apparently affected by alcohol or a drug or other substance to such an extent that there is a significant impairment of judgement or behaviour’ b) the Victorian Government ensures that limits for the threshold for medical intervention with regard to someone who is intoxicated is serious and imminent risk of significant harm to the intoxicated individual or other individuals c) the Victorian Government explores the appropriate assessment of this threshold which should have an objective element, such as a reasonable person test.
49. The Victorian Government legislates to ensure detention ceases at the moment that the threshold of serious and imminent risk is no longer met, whether this is due to a change in the environment or the person’s personal circumstances (e.g. their degree of intoxication has sufficiently decreased).
50. The Victorian Government ensures health practitioners are required to regularly assess the ongoing need for detention, including upon admission if detained during transport and through regular assessments of whether informed consent can be secured.
51. The Victorian Government ensures detention for the purposes of the sobering up of an intoxicated person should be a last resort and is limited by appropriate safeguards.
52. The Victorian Government considers the matters highlighted in the Restrictive Interventions in Victorian Emergency Departments: A Review of Current Clinical Practice commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Service must be addressed by the Victorian Government.
53. The Victorian Government ensures medical practitioners exercise their powers to give effect to the least restrictive means of achieving their objective, in terms of both the decision to detain and the nature of the restraint, in accordance with the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.
54. The Victorian Government implements robust safeguards, including comprehensive legislation, regulations, and guidelines, policies and procedures on the operationalisation of the legislation. This is to ensure, for example, that medical practitioners use sedation and other chemical and mechanical restraints on intoxicated people appropriately.
55. The Victorian Government ensures that medical practitioners: a) maintain appropriate written records, including the reasons for the order, the period for which the person is ordered to be detained, the monitoring regime, treatment provided, restraints used and reasons, and discharge b) to the extent reasonably possible inform the person of the reasons for the detention and their applicable rights c) take reasonable steps to notify the person’s nominated person, guardian or carer of their admission or detention; and d) provide the reasons for detainment and/or the use of restraint in writing to the person upon their discharge/release.
56. The Victorian Government empowers an oversight body, such as the Victorian Ombudsman, to adjudicate complaints and conduct investigations in relation to the implementation and operation of these reforms in health service. This should include oversight of detention conditions and treatment of detained people, as well as use of mechanical and chemical restraints.
57. The Victorian Government, in accordance with OPCAT obligations, enables the National Preventive Mechanism to have oversight when intoxicated people are deprived of their liberty, including when they are detained and/or restrained in hospitals.
Stage 4: Health and social care pathways
58. The Victorian Government ensures that a comprehensive service system is capable of supporting the broader health and wellbeing needs of the high intensity cohort of people, who very often experience quite complex health and welfare challenges that contribute to their drinking patterns.
Investment in Aboriginal alcohol and other drug services
59. The Victorian Government establishes a specific adult AOD program for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Victorians prior to the end of the implementation phase, with Wotha Daborra considered for further development as part of this process.
60. The Victorian Government ensures that all Social and Emotional Wellbeing teams include AOD expertise (a position outlined by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System) and that the role of the teams be expanded to support the government’s public intoxication reforms for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Victorians where appropriate.
Stage 5: Broader prevention strategies
61. The Victorian Government continues to support and expand where necessary public awareness campaigns focused on primary prevention health initiatives that relate to the prevention of public intoxication, including the work of VicHealth.
62. The Victorian Government ensures the Proposed Health Model is phased in over a 24-month period to enable an adequate transition from the current justice-based response to public intoxication.
63. The Victorian Government establishes at least three trial sites during the 24-month transition period to inform the development of the statewide implementation of the ERG’s Proposed Health Model.
64. The Victorian Government establishes a dedicated implementation office to operationalise the public intoxication reform agenda.
65. The Victorian Government establishes a dedicated oversight committee to oversee the overall implementation of the public health approach to public intoxication and to ensure that implementation is consistent with, and gives effect to, the intention of the proposed reforms.
Ongoing monitoring, evaluation and adaptability
66. The Victorian Government works with affected communities, including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, Sudanese and South Sudanese communities to develop an evaluation framework including outcomes, reporting by agencies and services, provision of data to affected communities and the involvement of affected communities in the governance model.
67. The Victorian Government undertakes a statutory review of the reforms related to decriminalisation of public drunkenness.
68. The Victorian Government develops a monitoring and evaluation framework in consultation with relevant stakeholders including representatives from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and CALD communities.
69. The Victorian Government ensures that Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations evaluate the cultural appropriateness of the implementation and operation of the reforms.
Cultural safety framework
70. Consistent with its commitment to self-determination and co-design principles, particularly for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, the Victorian Government consults with affected communities and work wherever possible with community-controlled organisations in the design, delivery and evaluation of the public health response to public intoxication.
71. The Victorian Government continues to support the implementation of a new funding and governance model across public health services to strengthen and improve approaches to delivery of culturally safe and responsive services for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait community.
72. The Victorian Government continues to support further actions via health service statement of priority processes and funding and service agreements for funded organisations to progress Reconciliation Action Plans.
73. The Victorian Government continues to support and elevate the cultural safety planning undertaken by hospitals and the delivery of culturally safe sobering services provided in hospital settings, including: a) sobering services in hospitals are established in line with the identified six themes impacting cultural safety b) expanding the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health workforce, including Aboriginal Health and Liaison Officers, fully utilising Weighted Inlier Equivalent Separation (WIES) loadings and other resources to adequately resource this function c) Aboriginal Health and Liaison Officers – or an appropriate equivalent - are available to support Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients utilising sobering services, including access after-hours and on weekends; and d) undertake an audit of cultural safety in relation to both Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and CALD communities at relevant emergency department and rural trauma and urgent care centres, and appropriate actions undertaken to address identified areas of concern.
74. The Victorian Government works in partnership with affected communities at a local level to develop culturally appropriate service responses as part of the public health response, including building on established partnerships with Aboriginal organisations and communities (e.g. Aboriginal Justice Caucus and Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committees (RAJACs), and with Sudanese and South Sudanese communities under the African Community Action Plan, where appropriate.
75. The Victorian Government support comprehensive cultural safety training to be developed for all first responder agencies (in the justice and health systems), with localised input from, and delivery by, ACCOs and other affected community-controlled organisations, including training on: a) Aboriginal cultural awareness b) unconscious bias c) trauma-informed care d) mental health and disability e) human rights under the Victorian Charter of Human Rights.
76. The Victorian Government supports the development and delivery of cultural safety training by ACCOs and other affected communities for all staff in services in the public health model.
77. The Victorian Government ensures that training is provided to all first responders and services on localised service pathways and access for affected communities, including for ACCOs. This will be particularly important during the implementation phase.
78. The Victorian Government requires that all first responders and staff in services under the public health model undergo cultural safety training, including ongoing, localised and refresher training.
79. The Victorian Government continues to build the capacity of ACCOs and other community- controlled organisations to deliver cultural safety training in mainstream organisations, including appropriate resourcing and funding of these as professional development activities.
80. The Victorian Government ensures that culturally appropriate safeguards and service pathways are developed for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people coming in to contact with police, including exploring options with the Aboriginal Community Justice Panels (ACJP).
81. The Victorian Government extends the role of Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers (AHLOs) to after-hours and/or implement an on-call model so hospital based sobering services also have access to Aboriginal support persons for relevant clients (noting this could also benefit all Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients) ensuring any non-hospital services operate consistent with the eight cultural safety domains now in place at hospitals. This could include consideration of block grants for cultural safety to other health services with a primary direct role in public intoxication (i.e. Ambulance Victoria).
82. The Victorian Government ensures that interpreters are available across the range of service system responses identified by the ERG for the proposed reform. Further consultation & co-design
83. The Victorian Government ensures that detailed consultation and co-design occurs as it is critical to the successful establishment and implementation of a public health model.
84. The Victorian Government undertakes a review of relevant local laws in partnership with local government. The scope of such a review might include consideration of amendments as well as operational protocols to support the reform principles underpinning decriminalisation of public drunkenness.
85. The Victorian Government analyses data relating to enforcement of local laws be monitored to track any unintended consequences associated with the enforcement of local laws.
86. The Victorian Government adequately resources all components of the Proposed Health Model, reflecting the interdependency between all components identified in this report.