The AIDS Council of South Australia (www.acsa.org.au) has been unexpectedly informed by the Department of Health (linked article also available here) that the SA Government has rejected a funding proposal by ACSA administrators. ACSA went into voluntary administration in June as a result of financial mismanagement that occurred last year under the previous Board.
However, under a new Board and a new CEO, appointed in March this year, ACSA halved its deficit and was well on the way to overcoming its inherited financial problems for good. The Government's decision means an end to ACSA's proven and effective programs such as sexual health education, condom distribution and Adelaide's largest clean needle distribution service.
ACSA's Board firmly believes that it's its closure is not only unnecessary in financial terms (each HIV transmission prevented saves the community thousands of dollars in health care costs) but also endangers other vital LGBTI programs within South Australia, including the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service (GLCS) and the SA Gay & Lesbian Community Library and Archives. Other community groups will no longer have a meeting place, including the Gay & Lesbian Immigration Task Force, the cultural men’s group The Uranian Society, the social support group Bear Men of Adelaide, the Transsexual Support group and the Parkestone Association.
We are asking for your show of support for ACSA by signing a petition asking the SA Minister for Health, the Hon Jack Snelling, and the SA Premier, the Hon Jay Weatherill, to reconsider their decision and to continue to fund this vital service to the HIV and LGBTI communities in South Australia.