Latrobe Valley Drug Rehabilitation

Ms BATH (Eastern Victoria) (20:01): My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Mental Health in the other place, and it relates to the proposed Latrobe Valley rehabilitation centre. The action I seek from the minister is for him to provide the Central Gippsland community with comprehensive details about when this drug rehabilitation facility will actually open and be ready to support clients, with a time line and designated milestones. Gippsland families have suffered through the scourge of drug addiction and been forced to wait for these drug rehabilitation services due to ongoing delays—but wait, there is more—from the Labor government. The Andrews government promised in the budget of 2017–18 to provide funding for a new youthdrug rehabilitation service but has broken its promise, and three and a half years down the track the Latrobe Valley rehab is still yet to be started. We know across our state unfortunately ice and other drugs are a blight on our community, and Gippslanders certainly need adequate rehab builds in order for clients to come in and families to come in to break that real addiction cycle.

The community welcomed this back in the day when it was announced. In March 2019, a year and a half ago, a local Labor upper house member announced the site, and the following September an operator was announced as well, yet still no work is done. Families are struggling and they need support. I know they do—they come into my office. There are representations across the board where they just need adequate support so they do not have to travel out of the area. Extraordinarily, though, since this budget was announced three years ago not one sod has been turned on the site at Traralgon—not a sod. Indeed in 2018–19 the budget was supposed to be for a 30-bed facility, and then it was watered down to a 20-bed for 16- to 21-year-olds. By contrast, the Hope Restart Centre in Bairnsdale was funded in 2018. It is a tremendous centre supported by the community but also private enterprise. It is now open and offering support to clients and families in our area. It shows the Andrews government is heavy on bureaucracy but light on delivering for people in need. My constituents are desperately in need of this facility in reality, not in thin air.