Drug facility planned for South West
THE first drug rehabilitation facility in the South West could be operational by the end of the year if Harvey Shire Council approves plans to establish a therapeutic residential service in Brunswick.
Palmerston Association, a nonprofit provider of drug and alcohol services, has put an offer on Sophia College which was accepted subject to planning approval.
The association’s board will pay for the property and the Federal Government will fund the therapeutic program through the WA Primary Health Alliance.
The centre will cater for about 13 people per week.
Palmerston chief executive officer Sheila McHale said a close partnership with the Breakaway Aboriginal Corporation ensured that their service was culturally appropriate.
“While we will initially be working mostly with Aboriginal community members, our peer support service will be offered to all South West residents regardless of colour or creed,” she said.
Corporation founder and acting chief executive officer Renee Pitt said they fully supported the proposal.
“This is a service that is needed in the South West and it is all about giving people choices and hope,” she said.
Ms McHale said the organisation had responded to pleas for help.
“Meth is a big problem and at the moment the communities in the South West have no choice,” she said.
“We believe in giving people access to a facility and services and our board was concerned enough to invest in the region.
“People from the South West will be given priority and connecting with the community is a key component of the program.”
Ms McHale said the proposed therapeutic facility would not be a detox service as people determined to address addiction were already detoxed and had to undergo a strict admission process.
“We signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Palmerston in February and our focus will be on helping people reconnect with family and community and overcome problems caused by drug and alcohol misuse.
Harvey shire president Tania Jackson said the application would go to the council when it was received.
It would then be put out for public consultation if approved.
“I feel we have an opening to meet the needs of the wider community with a local facility to help people to re-establish their lives,” Cr Jackson said.
“This can be a great boost for local business and also offers employment opportunities for local people.”