Residents in Hamilton and surrounding areas will have access to drug rehabilitation services closer to home under a Liberals and Nationals plan announced this week.
Member for Lowan and Shadow Minister for Mental Health Emma Kealy has announced that a Liberals and Nationals Government will build a 30-bed residential rehabilitation centre in Warrnambool, to provide 24-hour care and support for residents in Victoria’s south-west seeking help for drug and alcohol dependencies.
Ms Kealy, who is also Deputy Leader of the Nationals, said gaps in drug treatment services were well documented, and the Liberals and Nationals were working with communities and health services to ensure people in need could access support when and where they needed it.
Current data shows a critical shortage of alcohol and other drug rehabilitation beds across the state. Victoria has 0.74 beds per 10,000 people, the second-worst ratio in the nation.
Ms Kealy said the Liberals and Nationals’ pledge of $36 million for a residential rehab centre in the state’s south-west would go a long way to addressing the challenges the community faced in accessing appropriate supports.
“Alcohol and drug addiction are complex, with far-reaching impacts that affect not just individuals but their families, their friends and their communities,” she said.
“When struggling Victorians are ready to break the cycle, they deserve to have support available to help them, when they need it. But for many regional Victorians, this simply isn’t the case.
“For far too long there has been underinvestment in regional Victoria when it comes to alcohol and other drug treatment services, which forces country people to travel hundreds of kilometres away from their home and support networks to seek help, at a time when they are at their most vulnerable.
“Greater investment in this vital sector will give regional Victoria the services it needs to ensure residents can access treatment closer to home and start getting their lives back on track sooner.”
The $36-million facility in Warrnambool is part of a wider Liberals and Nationals commitment to provide at least 180 new alcohol and other drug rehabilitation and withdrawal beds at six new treatment centres across the state.