SOUTH West Coast MP Roma Britnell says the state government is ignoring the region's proposed alcohol and drug residential rehabilitation centre after $52.1 million was allocated to three other facilities around the state.
The claim comes after the state government announced funding for new residential rehabilitation facilities in Corio, Traralgon and Wangaratta.
Ms Britnell said it was disappointing and disheartening to see the state government ignore "the hard work of the community and not look further west than Geelong".
"Having family support during rehab is proven to be critical to its success," she said.
"Those in rehab want to turn their life around. I believe we should give them all the support we can to achieve this. By ignoring the South-West Coast, Daniel Andrews is ignoring our best chance at success."
Ms Britnell said the community had done an incredible effort to raise significant amounts to support the capital build of the proposed Lookout centre at Dennington and it was now up to the state government to come to the table.
"This project is a small investment for a huge reward," she said.
Last week Minister for Health Martin Foley released the final designs for the new rehabilitation facilities in the Gippsland, Hume and Barwon regions.
The facilities will provide a structured therapeutic and home-like environment where people experiencing addiction can develop coping skills and address underlying issues to overcome their alcohol and other drug use.
A spokeswoman for the state government said the department was in ongoing discussions with Western Region Alcohol and other Drug (WRAD) centre on progressing the Lookout rehabilitation centre at Dennington.
"This includes advancing the sale of the Dennington site to WRAD, an important milestone for this project," the spokeswoman said.
"We support the organisation's efforts advocating for Federal Government funds for the capital component of the project."
In December proponents of The Lookout said they were "confident" a residential rehabilitation facility at Dennington would go ahead despite being overlooked in the state budget.
The 2020-21 Victorian Budget handed down in November did not include funding for the proposed residential rehabilitation centre at Dennington, which was approved by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal earlier in 2020.
The community has raised more than $620,000 for the project in recent years, with proponents hoping to work with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to look at ways to further fund the completion of the project.
At the time Western Region Alcohol and other Drug (WRAD) centre director Geoff Soma, who has led the push, said WRAD remained confident the project would go ahead. "We acknowledge the ongoing discussions with the department on this important project and we are hopeful of ongoing support from the government," he said. "We also acknowledge the terrific ongoing support of the local community who have committed their passion and their donations to making this project become a reality."
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