The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has repeated calls for the Victorian Government to support an alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre to be built at Lucknow.
In Federal Parliament yesterday, Mr Chester said the Hope Restart Centre needed additional funding from the State Government and philanthropic sources.
“All of us have been touched by the scourge of ice and other illicit substances and the impact they have had on our communities,” Mr Chester told the Parliament.
“Regional members of parliament, in particular, are well aware of the shortage of rehabilitation facilities and the lack of available beds when people are ready to seek help.
“I want to pay tribute to the Bairnsdale and district community, and a couple, Peter and Margaret Down, who have worked to establish a community group and have developed a plan to build the Hope Restart Centre for rehabilitation in Bairnsdale.
“This is a grassroots community group, and they have made some major steps forward.
“They have secured land for the site and a planning permit, and now they have a building permit to get work underway to build a rehabilitation facility which would service not just East Gippsland, but the broader Gippsland region.”
Mr Chester announced $3 million in funding from the Federal Government in September last year.
“I understand my colleague Tim Bull, the Member for Gippsland East, has been having discussions with the state minister responsible, along with some discussions with potential philanthropic organisations,” Mr Chester told the Parliament.
“I appeal to the State Government and people interested in helping young people, in particular, get over their addiction to illicit substances to consider helping fund this grassroots community group in their efforts to develop a project, which I think will make an enormous difference and will save lives in my community.
A video of Mr Chester’s speech in Parliament is available on his Facebook page.