A mo­men­tous week for city

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News -

IT’S not of­ten the ru­ral city gets to cel­e­brate not one but two ma­jor devel­op­ments in the space of 24 hours.

On Wed­nes­day the lo­ca­tion of the new drug and al­co­hol res­i­den­tial and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre was an­nounced as the for­mer Ovens Col­lege site in Greta Road with de­sign ex­pected to be­gin soon and con­struc­tion within 12 months.

While there is no spe­cific value on the new fa­cil­ity it is es­ti­mated to be in ex­cess of $10 mil­lion from the State Gov­ern­ment and part of a $40 mil­lion fund to build four such fa­cil­i­ties in re­gional Vic­to­ria.

On Thurs­day morn­ing it was an­nounced that $2.5 mil­lion has also been in­vested by the State Gov­ern­ment to im­prove Wan­garatta’s rail precinct.

Both these in­vest­ments have the po­ten­tial to sub­stan­tially en­hance the qual­ity of life and fu­ture prospects for Wan­garatta and dis­trict.

While there may be some crit­i­cism of the lo­ca­tion of the re­hab fa­cil­ity, its prox­im­ity to Wan­garatta’s po­lice head­quar­ters should pro­vide re­as­sur­ance to those con­cerned about safety is­sues.

What needs to be re­mem­bered is that peo­ple us­ing such a fa­cil­ity are far less likely to be a threat to the pub­lic and nearby res­i­dents com­pared to some with se­vere drug or al­co­hol is­sues not seek­ing treat­ment or un­able to get help.

Ev­ery ex­pert in the field has said that a res­i­den­tial re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion fa­cil­ity was the high­est pri­or­ity for Wan­garatta as it deals with this is­sue.

One of the other key el­e­ments of deal­ing with the is­sue for lo­cal fam­i­lies is its des­tig­ma­ti­sa­tion, es­pe­cially within their own com­mu­nity.

Par­ents, sib­lings, chil­dren, grand­par­ents of those who suf­fer from se­vere drug or al­co­hol prob­lems need their com­mu­nity to stand with them, not to os­tracise them fur­ther.

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