No Time to Waste Getting Rehab Centre for Dubbo Region

The Dubbo region needs a drug and alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation centre if we are to overcome the social problems that grip us.

For too long our residents have had to put up with higher than average crime, vandalism and other issues such as domestic violence and the role drugs have played in that is undeniable.

On this issue, the State Government’s inaction is a disgrace. They stand condemned as pedlars of smoke and mirror politics while actual real outcomes are being ignored.

What we saw a couple of weeks ago with the Wellington drug busts has struck a chord with a lot of locals. Splashed all over national television was the fantastic success of our police force.  There is no doubt that our boys and girls in blue really stepped up to the challenge and made important arrests.

However, these drug arrests revealed a situation that we always knew to be an issue but has continued to be ignored by the powers that be within the state government.

We need to be real about illegal drugs in our community.  While it’s certainly a good thing the crooks have been arrested (again, top marks to our police), the reality is that it’s likely new drug dealers will simply fill the gap in the illegal drugs markets in the Wellington area.  What’s needed is to reduce the demand for these drugs. That means we urgently need a detox and rehabilitation centre.

Now is not the time for politicians to claim credit for the good work of our police because there has been a fundamental failure and unwillingness by government to fix the core of the drugs problem to begin with.

Let there be no mistake about inaction. Two of three tiers of government have made a drug detox and rehabilitation facility a priority. The federal Nationals in government found $3 million for a drug detox and rehabilitation centre for Dubbo. Your local Council has committed to giving free suitable land to the facility. In fact all 10 Dubbo Regional Councillors, from all political backgrounds have backed the need for a centre.

All we are waiting on now is for the State Government to do their bit. Two State Parliament upper house enquiries recommended that the Dubbo region should have a detox and rehab facility. What more evidence could be required?

The local law society has called for a rehab centre and nearly every social services agency has publicly said it would be an essential service for Dubbo. Yet still we wait.

The inaction and the excuses are out of hand. The longer we wait the more people will be caught in the cycle of drug use, more crime will be committed, more people will end up in jail and more lives will be lost.

We need serious action and we need it now.

Last Edited: 07 Aug 2020

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