The Andrews Labor Government is stepping up the fight against ice and drug addiction, across the state with Gippsland one step closer to another drug rehabilitation service.
As part of the Victorian Budget 2017/18, $81.1 million will be invested in stage three of the Ice Action Plan with a focus on early intervention and treatment for Victorians struggling with dangerous drug use.
The Government will provide $9.7 million to acquire land in Gippsland to build an up to 18 bed new residential drug rehabilitation facility, as well as land in Barwon and Hume.
Over the next twelve months the Government will consult with the local community to determine a suitable and appropriate site.
With an investment of $34.8 million, 30 new rehabilitation beds will be opened, supporting over 80 patients a year, as well as treatment places and counselling services for 3800 Victorian parents, working to reunite them with their children and loved ones.
This investment will provide a 60 per cent increase on the number of beds funded by the previous Liberal Government.
The Labor Government will also provide 960 treatment places for people on community correction orders to get the support they need to get back on their feet.
Recognising that the impact of drugs has a disproportionate effect on Aboriginal communities, $14.1 million will employ 34 Aboriginal health workers to address this drug use head on.
The Government will also invest $12.4 million to expand services for those transitioning in or out of alcohol or drug treatment, who may be at risk of overdose.
In Victoria last year, there were 257 overdose deaths from illicit drugs and many more from prescription drugs – and this number continues to rise.
This latest funding is on top of the Labor Government’s record $100 million investment towards the Ice Action Plan, providing more Victorians with support to tackle this vicious drug.
Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“Ice use continues to have a significant and terrible impact on Gippsland’s communities, workplaces, families and individuals. This investment will enable a local facility to be built for ice users to beat their addictions and for their families to get much-needed support closer to home.”
“To ensure this facility is located where it can make the greatest difference, we will work closely with Gippsland communities and organisations over the next year to find the most suitable site.”
Quote attributed to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley
“We know that different people need different kinds of treatment. This investment provides more options for Victorians who want to get back on their feet.”