The State Government’s decision to build Gippsland’s first residential rehabilitation centre in Lucknow, near Bairnsdale, is a great step towards meeting the region’s need for comprehensive alcohol and drug treatment services.
We (Latrobe Health Assembly) congratulates the State and Federal Governments, as well as the Hope Restart Centre proponents, for making this vital move towards growing Gippsland’s health and wellbeing services.
Although the funding of the Hope Restart Centre shows the need in Gippsland is starting to be recognised, the Latrobe Health Assembly is hopeful this is the first step of many.
Data from Turning Point’s AODstats shows the Latrobe Valley is the epicentre of illicit drug dependencies in Gippsland. In 2014/15, 722 episodes of care were provided to people in Latrobe with illicit drug dependencies (including ice). This is more than two-and-a-half times more than the next closest Gippsland LGA.
A range of treatments and supports for alcohol and drug use do exist in the area, but a residential rehabilitation centre is the missing service.
We believe the Latrobe Valley needs such a facility if, as Australia’s first Health Innovation Zone, we are to plan for and deliver better health outcomes.
The Latrobe Health Assembly takes heart from the Minister’s comments on radio that the Government is open to further discussions on this topic and the needs of Gippsland.
The Latrobe Health Assembly looks forward to continuing this conversation.