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New rehabilitation services to break the cycle of addiction will soon be available in Gippsland, with the official sod turning today of the Hope Restart Centre, near Bairnsdale.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has been a strong local advocate for the project and secured $3 million from the Federal Government to build the centre, which will provide vital services and support for patients and their families dealing with addiction.

Mr Chester said the commencement of works would be a huge relief for local volunteers who had worked tirelessly to see this project start.

“The volunteer committee have been unwavering in its determination to provide this much-needed service for all Gippslanders,” Mr Chester said.

“It is an unfortunate fact of life that drug and alcohol addiction affects many people in our communities and there is a lack of services to help people when they need it most.

“The Hope Restart Centre will provide many people each year with access to alcohol and drug rehabilitation services, reducing the burden on other service within the community.

“The centre will include 29 double rooms, courtyards, group-training rooms, a recreation room and a dining room, making it fully equipped to support people seeking treatment and their families.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the centre would increase education and job opportunities in the region.

“The project, which will support 16 jobs during construction and create 32 ongoing jobs, not only provides a crucial service to those who need help but creates opportunities for health professionals and students in the region,” Mr McCormack said.

“The Liberal and Nationals Government is proud to support a centre that will provide essential support and promote a greater community understanding and awareness of alcohol and other drug illnesses and rehabilitation.”

This project is jointly funded by the Federal Government, Odyssey House Victoria, Hope Restart Centre Incorporated and private donors.

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