People desperately seeking help to get their lives back on track from drug and alcohol addiction will get crucial health support, close to home, if The Nationals are elected to government in November.
Shadow Minister for Mental Health Emma Kealy, The Nationals candidate for Morwell Martin Cameron and Member for Eastern Region Melina Bath are in Latrobe Valley today to announce a new 24-hour, all ages residential rehabilitation centre.
The $36 million commitment will fund 30 new residential rehabilitation and withdrawal beds for the region, which will fill a critical shortage in health support to treat addiction.
Ms Kealy said improved drug and alcohol rehabilitation support in Latrobe Valley will better support vulnerable people of all ages who are at crisis point.
“Drug and alcohol support in Latrobe Valley is insufficient and there has been a distinct lack of wrap around services to address drug and alcohol problems within the local community,” Ms Kealy said.
“When struggling Victorians are ready to break the cycle, they deserve to have support available to help them, when they need it.”
Mr Cameron said the glaring gaps in drug and alcohol treatment support services was costing lives in Latrobe Valley and putting pressure on families.
“The Nationals in government will ensure local people have the very best chance to get their life back on track,” Mr Cameron said.
“There is an urgent need to combat the pain of drug and alcohol addiction in Latrobe Valley. The limitations in local support services perpetuates hardship and suffering.
“Making help accessible locally to address addiction for people of all ages is desperately needed. This is exactly what The Nationals will deliver.”
Local drug support advocates have continued to raise concerns about the limited availability of drug detox beds.
The Nationals and Liberals plan will see at least 180 new alcohol or other drug (AOD) rehabilitation and withdrawal beds delivered at six new all-age treatment centres in the Latrobe Valley, Mildura, Shepparton, Warrnambool, Frankston and Melbourne.
Drug crime rates in Latrobe Valley have continued to skyrocket under Daniel Andrews. Yet current data shows a critical shortage of AOD beds in Victoria. A ratio of 0.74 rehabilitation beds per 10,000 people puts Victoria the second worst in the nation.
The Liberals and Nationals’ commitment will increase tis ratio to 0.97 beds per 10,000 head of population, to finally bring Victoria into line with NSW.