Hope Restart drug rehab centre gets the nod

The Hope Restart Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre will be built near Bairnsdale, after the state govenment announced it would contribute funding.

Mentral Health Minister Martin Foley visited Bairnsdale on Monday to announce the government was backing the Hope Restart Centre as one of three new regional residential rehabilitation facilities.

The Hope Restart Centre has worked with the community and donors to get the idea of a Gippsland residential rehab centre to the point of conception.

Odyssey House Victoria, a leading provider in residential rehabilitation services across Victoria, will run the new facility. The government will deliver operational funding of at least $1.8 million per year to run the centre.

With operational funding secured, plans can be turned into reality with construction to commence in the next 12 months.

“By backing the Hope Restart Centre, we’re making sure people in Gippsland get their new residential rehabilitation facility as quickly as possible,” Mr Foley said.

“Addiction has a devastating impact on our local communities – particularly in regional Victoria. Which continues to be over represented in addiction figures.”

Gippsland East MLA Tim Bull has welcomed the announcement.

“… today is a very pleasing outcome for the hardworking local volunteer committee, and I look forward to the project progressing,” Mr Bull said.

“Given both sides of politics committed to a Gippsland facility, and as I told the Legislative Assembly just four weeks ago, with the land having been donated, East Gippsland Shire Council planning approval having been received, a $3 million commitment from the federal government for the facility in Bairnsdale and a matching philanthropic donation, it was a ‘no brainer’ for the government to announce this as the location.

“… it’s great news and a great reward for all who have been pushing the cause,” he said.

Construction will begin later this year.