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Drug centre hopes

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November 06, 2017

Odyssey House chief executive Stefan Gruenert, who has had the task of securing funding for the 30-bed residential development, said the organisations involved would find out if they had been successful next month.

The Victorian Government is actively considering the proposed drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre outside of Numurkah, according to one of the main drivers behind the project.

Odyssey House chief executive Stefan Gruenert, who has had the task of securing funding for the 30-bed residential development, said the organisations involved would find out if they had been successful next month.

Mr Gruenert said a number of rehabilitation projects were currently being considered by the government, which would announce funding for three rehabilitation centres in regional Victoria.

The announcement is part of the $53million package of policies aimed at addressing the state’s drug and alcohol issues.

Following multiple proposed sites, community and local government rejection and a VCAT hearing, Mr Gruenert said the future of the Brookfield development was now in the hands of the state government.

‘‘We certainly put our case forward for that site, and I guess we’ve stated that in the amount of work that’s gone into this by ACSO, and local residents as well as the VCAT hearing to get planning permission, so from our perspective, it would be a shame not to capitalise on that hard work,’’ Mr Gruenert said.

‘‘So it’s in their hands based on expressions of interest from providers and their own internal exercises around population planning and statistics.’’

The Victorian Government announced last week funding for 100 new alcohol and drug rehabilitation beds, which plan to upgrade existing facilities by March next year.

Mr Gruenert said while the announcement was beneficial for those in city areas, there was a clear commitment to increase accessibility for people in regional areas.

‘‘They’ve invested a lot more in drug treatment, so that’s a sign of their commitment, so it doesn’t feel like there will be any issues in securing that funding for regional Victoria, it’s just a matter of where,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re really keen to hear those announced, so people can start planning and moving forward.’’

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