Date published: 
15 March 2019
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

The Liberal National Government will invest $3.9 million over five years for critical drug rehabilitation services in Mackay.

Government funding will be provided to Ozcare, Mackay’s Drug and Alcohol Residential Recovery Service (DARRS) for the development of a 20-bed recovery facility.

After seeing firsthand the dire need for more drug rehabilitation services in the region, Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said the key element of the funding package was to help people with substance abuse get their lives back on track.

“The Government is committed to supporting Australian communities in their fight against substance abuse,” Minister Hunt said.

“Alcohol and drug misuse affects not just the individuals involved, but the people and communities around them.”

“I had the opportunity to visit Ozcare Mackay’s rehabilitation service earlier this year with George Christensen, and not only did I meet the people who run it, but met with some of the men and women going through the program.”

The funding package includes $1.5 million to support the construction of a 20-bed rehabilitation facility, and as at January 2020, $2.4 million will be made available to assist Ozcare with their ongoing operational costs.”

Minister Hunt said, “Residents told me their time at Ozcare was life-changing. They went in with no hope and no life and no prospects, and the care and support they received changed everything. They now have life, hope and prospects.”

Federal MP George Christensen said the need to provide more rehab services for people struggling with alcohol, ICE and cannabis addictions was well known.

“I heard directly about what Ozcare was doing about 18 months ago, as they quietly went about the business of providing their 12-week rehab service which achieved great results for people,” Mr Christensen said.

“They currently only have the capacity to care for 10 people, and there is always an average waiting list of another 40.

“This new facility will allow them to help twice as many people which is great news for those people.” Mr Christensen said.

These latest initiatives continue the Government’s unprecedented investment in mental health, with an estimated $4.7 billion provided in 2018–19.

The Liberal Nation Government’s strong economic management ensures the continued record investment into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.

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