MEMBERS STATEMENTS – Wangaratta Drug Rehabilitation Services

Wangaratta drug rehabilitation services

Ms SYMES (Northern Victoria) (10:08:47) — Like some of my colleagues today I want to make a contribution on the fantastic Andrews Labor government’s budget that was delivered last week. I can say that wherever you live in northern Victoria, it is a Labor budget that delivers on the things that matter: skills, jobs, education, better roads and better transport. It has gone down really, really well in my electorate.

What I would like to focus on today is something that I am particularly proud of and something that has been very much welcomed by the Wangaratta and north‑east community, and that is a 30‑bed alcohol and other drugs residential rehabilitation centre to be built in Wangaratta. In last year’s budget we announced funding for land acquisition, and we have spent the last 12 months identifying appropriate sites for the construction of those facilities in regional Victoria.

Given the people of Wangaratta’s passion for addressing the blight of drugs in their community and their willingness to open their arms to those affected, I always thought that Wangaratta was the best community for this centre. It is also really well placed geographically to service much of north‑east Victoria. The centre has been welcomed by the community. I would like to say thank you to the newspaper. They have written about drug issues in a really sensitive way with a focus on health, and I think that has led to a good response to this announcement. I would also like to thank the Wangaratta local drug action team and Wangaratta North East Family Support for their commitment in this space.