People in the Latrobe Valley seeking help for drug or alcohol addiction will be able to access the help they need, close to home under an elected Liberal Nationals Government.
Shadow Minister for Mental Health Emma Kealy was joined by The Nationals candidate for Morwell Sheridan Bond and Liberal candidate for Morwell Dale Harriman today in Traralgon to announce plans to build and fund a residential rehabilitation centre for the Latrobe Valley.
Ms Kealy said the new $7 million, 18 to 20-bed facility will address the critical need for residential rehabilitation services in the Valley.
“When people decide they need to break the cycle of addiction, we need to make sure the supports are there to help them regain their life,” Ms Kealy said.
“Waiting lists for residential rehabilitation have blown out in Victoria under Labor, with some people being told they have to wait up to a year, and that’s just not good enough.
“A Liberal Nationals Government will make sure that when people in the Latrobe Valley are struggling and need help for drug and alcohol addiction, residential rehabilitation services will be there for them and their families.”
Figures from the Coroner’s Court released earlier this year showed the Valley had the second highest rate of fatal drug overdoses in Regional Victoria.
Ms Bond said there was a clear need for local residential rehabilitation services.
“I’ve been working closely with local groups, like LV Family Drug Support, who are determined to see a local residential rehabilitation centre to make sure people seeking help for addiction can get that help locally, close to family and friends, and other people in their support network,” Ms Bond said.
“These centres save lives and they change lives – we need one in the Valley and I’m so pleased to be here today delivering it.”
Mr Harriman said a residential rehabilitation centre will boost services for local people.
“Plans to increase the number of residential rehabilitation beds were axed by the Andrews Government when it was elected in 2014, and that meant communities like those in the Latrobe Valley have missed out,” Mr Harriman said.
“A Liberal Nationals Government will make the investment needed for better services for our community.”
Victoria currently has about a quarter of the number of residential rehab beds of New South Wales, which has more than 800.
This commitment for the Latrobe Valley is part of a package of new drug and alcohol rehabilitation services for Regional Victoria.
Up to 60 new beds will be delivered across three new residential rehabilitation centres in Regional Victoria under a Liberal Nationals Government – in the Valley, Mildura and Warrnambool.