Welcomed, ‘but not close enough’
Wimmera Drug Action Taskforce leaders have welcomed the appointment of a service provider for a new Grampians rehabilitation centre but have stressed a need for a facility closer to home.
Windana Drug and Alcohol Recovery has won a contract to run the State Government’s new Grampians alcohol and other drug residential rehabilitation centre, which will be in Ballarat.
The new centre will offer 20 rehabilitation beds to provide people with support to help end their drug addiction and rebuild their lives.
Mental Health Minister Martin Foley said the Grampians region – which comprises Ararat, Ballarat, Golden Plains, Hepburn, Hindmarsh, Horsham, Moorabool, Northern Grampians, Pyrenees, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack municipalities – was severely affected by alcohol and other drug use.
He said there were high levels of misuse among young adults and rising rates of drug-related offences and ambulance attendances, particularly in Ballarat and Horsham.
Mr Foley said people seeking help in the Grampians region currently needed to travel to Bendigo or Melbourne for treatment.
“People recover faster when they can access treatment in the community – that’s why this facility is so important,” he said. “It will offer better targeted treatment and more options for people suffering serious drug addiction.”
Wimmera Drug Action Taskforce co-ordinator Sally Pymer said while she was pleased to see the Ballarat centre a step closer, the region’s residents would benefit from one in Horsham.
“The taskforce supports more rehabilitation beds in the Grampians region but a detox and rehabilitation
“The taskforce supports more rehabilitation beds in the Grampians region but a detox and rehabilitation facility closer to Horsham is also required” – Sally Pymer
facility closer Horsham she said.
“For people living close to Horsham a two-hour drive will be required to get to Ballarat for rehab, which is little different to the current travel time to Bendigo.”
The State Government will also build new residential drug rehabilitation services in Gippsland, Hume and Barwon regions.
The centres are part of the government’s Ice Action Plan, which addresses the harmful use of crystal methamphetamine and other drugs across Victoria.
Mr Foley said the government had committed funding for 112 new residential rehabilitation beds and is providing an extra 500 Victorians a year is also required,” with access to new therapeutic day rehabilitation services.
But Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy said the government’s ‘promises on drug treatment came to nothing’.
She said the government announced it had ‘committed funding’ for 112 new beds in Victoria.
“But what Premier Daniel Andrews won’t say is there’s yet to be one dollar of government funding allocated beyond land purchase – not a cent has been announced to build new centres or employ rehabilitation support staff,” she said.
“Daniel Andrews is full of bluster, but fails to follow up with action.
“Victoria’s drugs crisis is getting worse, not better.”