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Show clinic the money

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August 04, 2017

Stefan Gruenert. Picture: AAP Image/Joe Castro

The development of a Numurkah rehab centre has been approved, but the fight is far from over for the drivers behind the Brookfield development, who must secure millions in funding.

While drug support organisations ACSO and Odyssey House Victoria have a skeleton plan for the site, an estimated $7million will be needed to get it off the ground.

A planning submission was approved in a hearing last week, when the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal reversed the previous decision of Moira Shire Council to block the construction of the centre at Numurkah.

Odyssey House chief executive Stefan Gruenert said the organisations had high hopes for the centre, which had needed the development permit to get critical funding.

But he said the creation of the centre and its structure would all depend on the needs and expectations of the funding bodies.

Dr Gruenert said Odyssey planned to take advantage of the Victorian Government’s recent announcement to fund residential rehabilitation programs across the state.

‘‘What we don’t know yet is what other expressions of interest they’ve had from different areas, and whether this location or site is suitable for the types of things they’re looking for, so it’s really about working with the government to see if this site could work,’’ Dr Gruenert said.

If successful, the organisations would then work together to source planning around the building and design of a 30-bed, rehabilitation facility for individuals with drug and alcohol dependencies.

The most likely scenario would be a stay of around three to four months, modelled around a set program, following a period of withdrawal and detoxification.

Individuals would be linked to local support groups, and the centre would aim to place the clients into stable housing and employment.

A recent Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association submission found the state had less than half of the number of long-term, residential rehabilitation services compared to every state, excluding South Australia.

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