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SAC Call For Drug Rehab Centre

Southern Aboriginal Corporation (SAC) is calling on State and Federal Governments to fund a substance abuse and rehabilitation facility near Albany.

Program Manager Oscar Colbung said it should be a family-oriented hostel for people of all ethnic backgrounds.

"We're going to look at the Noongar people but also if there's other people out there who need that assistance it should be available for them." he said.

"This drug (ICE) has impacted on everyone, not just one section of the community, and at this point in time there's not much being done in the Great Southern."

SAC CEO Asha Bhat said her group was better placed to run the facility because it already had a range of other services that could be used when people left the Hostel.

"We have employment and we have housing and we have got Health Promotion programs." she said. "It's not just providing that rehabilitation and leaving them alone; we can provide the transitional housing for them to transition and have a normal life".

She said the rehabilitation centre was a key recommendation arising from a two-day forum SAC conducted last October. Federal Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt, O'Connor MP Rick Wilson and Albany MLA Peter Watson all participated in the event.

"We had nine community consultation sessions around six locations and we got input from the wider community before leading up to the forum." Ms Bhat said. "We went out to the other towns in the region as far as Katanning and Gnowangerup".

She said the proposed facility would serve the whole of the Great Southern Region but should be located within 20km of Albany Health Campus.

Article by Geoff Vivian as it appeared in the Great Southern Weekender, published March 16, 2017.

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