MEDIA RELEASE - 10 November 2020
The Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Limited has today strongly welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement of a fully-funded drug and alcohol rehabilitation and detox centre to be established in Dubbo.
ALS CEO Karly Warner said, “We welcome the Government’s announcement of a new rehabilitation centre. We know that without appropriate and timely rehabilitation and adequate diversionary programs, Aboriginal people proactively seeking treatment are forced into the criminal legal system, taken away from the love and support of their families and communities.”
“This announcement will ensure that communities in the Dubbo region no longer need to leave country to receive the critical help and support they deserve” said Ms Warner.
Numerous reports have identified the chronic lack of drug rehabilitation services in NSW, particularly in rural and regional areas such as Dubbo. Access to existing services by Aboriginal people is seriously constrained by long distances, prohibitive costs, transport difficulties and long waiting lists. There is also an acute lack of specific services for Aboriginal women and young people.
“The new announcement of funding for a rehabilitation centre in Dubbo will help to address some of the issues in that region. However, it is critical that we put an end to postcode injustice and ensure Aboriginal people across entire State are provided with access to the critical services they need to thrive.”
“The ALS also continues to reiterate our calls for a Drug Court to urgently be established in Dubbo. The evidence shows us that diverting our people from prison and providing intensive health and social support, improves outcomes not only for individuals, but also the whole community” said Ms Warner.
The ALS is calling for the upcoming NSW Budget to prioritise increased investment in early intervention, prevention and diversion programs.
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