City Mission will be able to help more Tasmanians kick their drug and alcohol addictions thanks to a $6 million spend by the state government.
Ten additional long-term residential beds will open at City Mission’s Missiondale Recovery Centre at Evandale as part of a three-year funding deal.
The funding will also add five beds to a City Mission short-stay facility in the North-West and 16 beds to the Salvation Army’s Bridge Program in the south.
Minister for Health Michael Ferguson said the funding was about helping people “change their lives for the better”.
“We want to support people through those tough decision and through the highs and lows that will be part of their life as they recover from addictions and drug dependency,” Mr Ferguson said.
The funding was announced after a 2017 report revealed drug and alcohol services across Tasmania were underfunded.
City Mission chief executive Stephen Brown said it provided “a really big step forward”.
“We feel with our current wait list, it gives us a lot more flexibility,” he said.
But Mr Brown said time would tell whether the additional beds were enough to meet demand across Tasmania.
“We need to run it for 12 months to see how it goes,” he said.
Mr Brown said City Mission was becoming more efficient and effective by collaborating with other service providers such as The Salvation Army.
The two organisations have worked “quite strongly” together, Salvation Army social operations manager for the North and North-West Anita Reeve said.
“We’re very excited and grateful for the opportunities this new funding provides in just further enhancing that relationship...” she said.
“We’ll be able to streamline the access into those residential services for people by working together and we have formed a panel just recently to be able to work more collaboratively together.”
Mr Ferguson said the government had ushered in “the biggest increase in rehabilitation bed provision in the state’s history, going from just over 70 beds now exceeding 100”.
A Labor spokesperson said the party welcomed “any new drug and alcohol treatment facilities” but the Hodgman Government had taken “seven months since the election to make any mention of this commitment”.
“And there is still much, much more to be done in this important area in consultation with the sector,” the Labor spokesperson said.
The Liberal government has also pledged $1 million for a new community-based alcohol and drug service.