Labor ignores desperate need for drug rehab in northern Victoria

The Nationals Member for Northern Victoria Luke O'Sullivan MP has expressed disappointment that northern Victoria was overlooked in the allocation of additional residential rehab beds today.

Mr O’Sullivan said today’s announcement ignored the needs of residents in northern Victoria, with not a single extra bed funded north of Heidelberg.

“Access to residential rehab facilities in areas such as Shepparton and Bendigo is extremely limited, so Labor’s decision not to fund a single bed north of Heidelberg is unacceptable.

“In June this year, the Herald Sun mentioned the Victorian ice epidemic in country Victoria and said that some of the worst affected places were Mildura, Wangaratta, Bendigo and Shepparton.

“It’s incredibly disappointing to see regional Victoria miss out once again, especially considering some of the worst affected spots for the ice epidemic have missed out on vital services for addiction treatment.” Mr O’Sullivan said.

Mr O’Sullivan has also noted the Andrews Labor Government’s announcement of a ‘safe injecting room’ in North Richmond, stating that it will set a bad example for young people.

“The Premier’s backflip on establishing a ‘safe injecting room’ is horrifying.

“Not only is it about 60 metres from a primary school, but it also reflects an acceptance of drug culture which will only cause more harm to people fighting addictions and our communities.

“The Labor Government should be spending more time and effort on trying to prevent people from doing drugs, not allowing them to use drugs through a state sanctioned injecting room.”

“We need to move forwards when it comes to the treatment of addiction. Part of that is ensuring that we don’t condone a drug culture in Victoria and part of that would be more rehab beds in regional Victoria so that people battling addiction can receive the help that they need.”

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