The Lookout Alcohol and other drug residential rehabilitation centre will become a reality under an elected Liberal National Government, Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell says.
Mrs Britnell said she has worked to secure a commitment to provide funding for WRAD to operate 18-20 residential rehabilitation beds in the south-west.
She said the funding, to be announced by Shadow Minister for Mental Health Emma Kealy in Warrnambool on Friday, is not for capital works and is not tied to a specific location.
“It is operational funding for WRAD to provide this important service,” she said.
Mrs Britnell said having worked in the health field for many years, particularly in community health, she knows firsthand how important ready access to residential rehabilitation beds is.
“I had clients who had gone through the detox process and were desperately trying to get their life back on track – but it was often impossible to find a residential rehabilitation bed,” she said.
“Right now there are waiting lists of up to a year, people in these situations often can’t wait that long. We need to do something to make sure there are more beds available and that is exactly what The Lookout project does.
“It’s also really important to have the services close to home. We often see statistics about how cancer survival rates improve the closer someone is to treatment options. The same can be said for addiction.”
Mrs Britnell said she was extremely proud of the south-west community who have come together, identified the problem and gone about solving it.
“The community backed the campaign with a huge fundraising effort and I’m thrilled to help make our vision a reality,” she said.
Mrs Britnell said it was a case of listening to what the community wants and then working hard to secure what was needed.
“Since my election in 2015, the community have been saying drugs and alcohol are one of the major issue we face. I’ve listened and have got to work making sure the something is done to help address the issue,” she said.
“I’ve been working hard on this for many months, speaking with my Liberal and National Colleagues and advocating directly with Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley on several occasions. From our conversations, I know he understands just how important this is, so I am confident there will be bipartisan support for this important project.
“For projects like this to get off the ground and be heard in the right places, we need strong and experienced advocacy. I’m proud to be able to make this commitment and proud to have been able to work closely with WRAD and on behalf of the community to make sure our voice is heard.”