High hopes of rehab support
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High hopes of rehab support

A community-led push to develop a drug and alcohol centre on the outskirts of Bairnsdale was strongly supported in State Parliament by Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, last week.
“I have been involved in several ‘good faith’ discussions with the Mental Health Minister about the Hope Restart Centre proposal and I am hopeful of achieving State support, as is the community,” Mr Bull told Parliament.
The call for funding follows the launch of the Gippsland-wide fundraising campaign Mr Bull attended last week, where he was joined by community leaders, Hope board members and representatives from Odyssey House, including its chief executive officer, Dr Stefan Gruenert.
Federal Nationals Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, was also in attendance, with the Commonwealth pledging $3 million towards the $7.5m project, along with local Mayor, Joe Rettino, with East Gippsland Shire Council having already granted a building permit.
Mr Bull said Odyssey House could well operate the facility, with a vocational training option being strongly considered.
“Last week’s fundraising launch was for community contributions and it was pleasing to see some strong pledges made on the night.
“The insights provided by Dr Gruenert were terrific. They spoke of how these facilities are great contributors to the communities in which they exist in a number of ways.”
Mr Bull also used his time in the chamber to acknowledge the work of those behind the project.
“The amount of work completed by the board, particularly members Peter and Margaret Down, John Glynn and Richard Rijs, is quite amazing and they are to be congratulated on their achievements to date,” he said.
Tuesday, April 3, 2018