Andrea Mitchell committed to more mental health beds in Bunbury

Mental Health minister Andrea Mitchell has promised 20 new rehabilitation beds in Bunbury if the Liberal party win the March state election. The government also promised a 10 bed facility in 2013 which construction is yet to start on.
Mental Health minister Andrea Mitchell has promised 20 new rehabilitation beds in Bunbury if the Liberal party win the March state election. The government also promised a 10 bed facility in 2013 which construction is yet to start on.

The Liberal government have announced more plans to deliver rehabilitation beds in Bunbury for people struggling with meth addiction should they win the March state election. 

Mental Health minister Andrea Mitchell said the government will invest a further $20 million to deliver an addition 85 beds across the state with 20 in the South West. 

“This commitment builds on our existing WA Meth Strategy which saw the state government roll out 60 meth rehab beds in the last eight months, including 16 beds in Nannup,” Ms Mitchell said.

Ms Mitchell said the new rehabilitation beds are part of a $98 million commitment from the Liberals to help individuals and families overcome meth addiction, and reclaim their health and lives.

 “We will have services and support in place to help meth users get off this insidious drug and stay off it, and these new beds for the South West are integral to this policy,” she said.

Talk of mental health beds has long been an issue in Bunbury with Premier Colin Barnett promising a 10 bed sub-acute facility ahead of the 2013 state election. 

South West MLC Adele Farina criticised the government last May after the 2016/17 WA budget lowered the amount of funding given to the Mental Health Commission for projects including the Bunbury sub-acute mental health facility.  

Then, in November 2016, Ms Mitchell and regional development minister Terry Redman visited Bunbury to announce $9.057 million of Royalties for Regions funding had been finalised for the facility. 

At the time, Ms Mitchell said the 10-bed step-up, step-down mental health facility located at Lot 54 Vittoria Road, would provide short-term residential support and individualised care for people following hospitalisation for mental illness, or at risk of deteriorating mental health and possible hospitalisation. 

Construction on the facility is yet to start.

The Liberal party also announced plans on Thursday morning to match Labor’s promise of $100,000 for community organisation Doors Wide Open, that supports people with drug addiction. 

Ms Mitchell said the funding would go towards helping Doors Wide Open to deliver non-clinical services including crisis support, early intervention and ongoing support for addicts and their families. 

Earlier this month, the Liberal party also responded to Labor’s announcement of increased maximum sentences for methamphetamine dealers by meeting its commitment to introduce life prison terms and pledging tougher minimum sentences for those caught peddling the drug.

Premier Colin Barnett said a re-elected Liberal government would introduce a mandatory prison sentence for anyone convicted of selling meth.

Anyone convicted of dealing less than 10 grams of the drug would serve a minimum of one year in prison while those convicted of selling more than 200 grams would risk life in prison, but be forced to serve a minimum of 15 years.