Mayor calls for State funding commitment for Rehab Centre

Mayor of the Dubbo Region Ben Shields has urged the State Government to fast track funding for a Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre to be established at Dubbo.

Dubbo took a step closer to receiving the much-needed facility last week with Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton committing to $3 million in funding.

However, with the centre estimated to cost $5 million to construct and $2.5 million annually for running costs, Councillor Shields said it was time the State Government stepped up.

The facility proposed would include eight detox beds and 15 beds for rehabilitation. Council has committed to provide land at a suitable location somewhere outside of town for patients to focus on their recovery. Council has identified several potential locations.

“Both the Federal Government and the Council have committed to this project. Mark Coulton provided $3 million because he has seen the difference the centre at Moree made to that community,” Councillor Shields said.

“It is time the State Government plays its role. I know Dugald Saunders has indicated his personal support for the project but the Government also has to commit.

“What I don’t want to see is them saying they have to wait for the outcome of a Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug ‘Ice’. Previous Inquiries have found the need for a rehab centre in Dubbo. How many inquiries have to recommend a centre for Dubbo before the government listens?

“This is about dealing with the impact of a range of drugs and alcohol, not just ‘Ice’, and the sooner a facility is built, the sooner we can start rehabilitating people who have drug and alcohol problems.”

Councillor Shields said the construction of a rehabilitation centre would also boost Dubbo’s chance of receiving a Drug Court.

“These two services would go hand-in-hand and would be invaluable in the fight against drugs in regional areas, which would also help to bring down crime and other social problems,” Councillor Shields said.

“Time is the key in getting this project started. Every day we waste creates another addict and leads to another crime.”

Last Edited: 11 Apr 2019

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