Drug fa­cil­ity planned for South West

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - Han­nelore Hepburn

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.”

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