The federal government will provide $9 million to Mission Australia to fund a new Cairns-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.
This initiative continues the federal government’s unprecedented $720 million investment in drug and alcohol treatment services.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said government funding will support a 12-week holistic rehabilitation program and the development of a new 10 bed residential rehabilitation centre.
He said Mission Australia had extensive experience in alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs and a longstanding 20 year history in Far North Queensland.
“Drugs do not discriminate. They tear apart families, relationships and communities,” Mr Entsch said.
“I am sure there are many people in our community that have been in some way either directly or indirectly been touch by the scourge of drugs, myself included.
“My recent experience, with an extended family member, made we acutely aware of the distinct lack of short-term residential rehabilitation facilities in our region.
“This was also confirmed to me by many other families who were dealing with similar situations, especially with regards to ICE addiction.
“I worked hard to secure the funding for this facility and it is something I am extremely proud to have delivered for the community.”
Mr Entsch said the funding would help bridge the gap in what is an increasingly more complex health related issue and will aid in improving the negative flow on effects often felt by our community.
“We will work with those in our community who are affected to help them get through these challenges, come out the other side stronger and get their lives back together in the process,” he said.
“Now this significant amount of funding has been secured, Mission Australia can finalise the design of their program taking into account the range of treatment services required for the sustainable recovery of those with substance abuse challenges.”
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the federal government was committed to supporting Australian communities in their fight against substance abuse.
“We continue to invest strongly in drug and alcohol services in Australia,” Mr Hunt said.
“Alcohol and drug misuse affects not just the individuals involved, but the people and communities around them.”
“Rehabilitation services are crucial to enable people with substance problems to get their lives back on track.
“The government’s strong economic management ensures the continued record investment of funding into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals, including the $60m Cairns University Hospital.”