Greens commit to substance abuse centre

THE Circular Head municipality doesn't have a permanent facility to deal with substance abuse like other urbanised areas, says Greens MP Paul O'Halloran.

The Greens have committed $1,282,000 to adapting the current Smithton Respite Centre into a functioning and resourced Recovery Centre.

Mr O'Halloran said the funds would go to the provision of intervention, prevention and educational programs in the Circular Head region.

"I've spent a fair bit of time talking to Wyndarra, which is a community-based and connected community organisation," Mr O'Halloran said.

"Certainly the Circular Head community, the mayor and Rural Health, in my discussions, it always comes up that alcohol and other drugs are a major issue."

The Greens will invest:

•$1,062,000 over the forward estimates to fund staff wages and training to run the Recovery Centre and its programs.

•$200,000 over two years to employ an Alcohol and Drug Mitigation officer, and funding to run a non-residential early intervention/prevention and education program to schools, sports clubs, youth groups, parents and community.

•$20,000 to assist in altering the current Smithton Respite Centre into a welcoming and functioning Recovery Centre.

Mr O'Halloran said substance abuse impacted on communities, impairing productivity and creating disadvantages.

"It's much easier if you can intervene early, pick up the beginnings of the problem and put in place known strategies based on best practices elsewhere," he said.

Paul O'Halloran

Paul O'Halloran