Construction for $14.3m drug rehab facility announced
CONSTRUCTION of Central Queensland's $14.3 million residential drug rehabilitation and treatment facility will begin in early 2020 despite 30 sites being ruled out.
At a press conference held today, Member for Keppel and Assistant Education Minister Brittany Lauga said Health Minister Steven Miles told her the Department of Health and Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service were still identifying a suitable site for the facility in Rockhampton.
"There have been over 30 sites identified and analysed based on a wide range of criteria and determined not suitable for a range of reasons, whether it be flooding, the town plan doesn't permit it, or council will not support it," Mrs Lauga said.
"It's a really challenging thing to identify a site for a 42-bed ice rehab and detox facility.
"It is sometimes controversial where these facilities are located, so that has been difficult."
Mrs Lauga said she questioned Dr Miles about the project in Parliament last week. He said a detailed design was expected in 2019, with construction planned for 2020 and service delivery to begin in late 2020.
"The Palaszczuk Government is investing $14.3 million to deliver the 42-bed residential drug rehabilitation and treatment facility in Rockhampton to improve access to specialist alcohol and other drug services for Central Queenslanders," she said.
"Initially it was thought construction would be completed by 2021, but the project managers have been able to confirm that they will be able to get this facility open and operating by the end of 2020 despite a site not being confirmed.
"This is great news to local people and has been well perceived by the ice-supporting families of the Capricorn Coast."
Mrs Lauga said a detailed business case was being drafted which includes functional area requirements for the services to be delivered, from the facility, concepts and designs, as well as costs and time frames.
She said the facility would also help meet the needs of people not only in Central Queensland, but nearby regions including Mackay, Wide Bay and Central West.
The facility will include 32 residential rehabilitation beds, eight withdrawal (detox) beds, two family units (to accommodate parents and children), and capacity for non-residential rehabilitation (day programs).
Mrs Lauga said the facility would be owned by the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service and operated by a specialist alcohol and other drug non-government organisation treatment provider under contract with the department.
"There are too many families torn apart by this insidious drug (ice)," she said.
"I am determined to work with justice, health and education workers, individuals and families affected to reduce the impact of ice on our community."