WA Health Minister Roger Cook has backed an initiative designed to help people suffering from drug or alcohol addiction.
Mr Cook has announced the installation of 19 new beds for the Palmerston Association’s premises in Brunswick Junction.
Visiting the former Sophia College site on December 6, he said the State Government was committed to providing residential rehabilitation and withdrawal beds for the region.
“Through the strong advocacy of Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray, Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke, and Bunbury MLA Don Punch, we have now secured the funding,” he said.
“We’re looking forward to Palmerston providing great care for people. We want to ensure that we can continue to reduce the impact of methamphetamine on our community.
“This will be an important contribution, and we will continue to monitor the demand for these sorts of beds.
“We’ll also try to get resources into the areas that need them.”
Palmerston was awarded a tender as well as $1,104,580 in funding per annum to utilise the beds from January 1, 2019.
The centre will provide much-needed support for people in Brunswick and the South West, according to Palmerston Association chief executive officer Sheila McHale.
Ms McHale said the organisation would explore the possibility of hiring more staff.
“We know how to provide professional-quality services,” she said.
“It’s an enormous privilege to have our work recognised as being worthy of funding.”
Another 15 specialist treatment beds are due to be operational in the region by March 2019, two years earlier than expected.
In the 2018-19 State Budget, the government fast-tracked the delivery of specialist drug and alcohol services.
Thirty-three treatment beds will soon be made available in the South West.
Mr Cook and Mr Murray said the current plan was more efficient than having a new rehab centre being built in the region.
“There are a lot more options now in the South West,” Mr Murray said.
“We’ve found that this plan is quicker. If we used half the money to build a new centre, then we would be behind the 8-ball straight away.
“We’ve put this into place because we need it now, rather than later.”
In need of support? Contact the Alcohol and Drug Support Line on (08) 9442 5000 or on 1800 198 024.