Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
Hope Restart (alcohol and drug rehabilitation) Centre is on target to be finished by the end of this year and accepting clients in the first half of 2020.
Nationals Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, was on site this week to view the progress being made by local construction company Brooker Builders and paid tribute to the community effort that has delivered this project.
“There is no doubt the government originally planned to build this facility elsewhere, that was made very clear to me at Parliament, but the community effort that just kept ticking boxes, made it impossible for the Minister to not strongly consider Bairnsdale – he told me that himself,” said Mr Bull.
“To be able to advise the Minister that land had been provided, council planning approval granted, community support was strong, community funds had been raised, philanthropic support had been obtained and Federal Government funding secured, it went from being off the radar to an obvious option - and all credit for that goes to the Hope Centre Board and the community.
“In the end the State Government really only had to commit to recurrent funding (which was announced last year) as the land and capital costs had largely been secured by the Board. If the government was to build it anywhere else, it would have had to deal with the land purchase and capital costs.
“I was able to chat to Odyssey House (who will run the centre), chief executive, Stefan Gruenert, earlier this week and he confirmed that timeframes were being met, which is terrific news and this was backed up in my conversations with Ross Brooker, of Brooker Builders.
“I have visited Odyssey House’s Melbourne operation with Stefan and chatted with the clients there who are receiving rehabilitation. When you see how well they go about their operations, it leaves you in no doubt whatsoever that this will be a great asset for our entire region.”
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull, inspects progress at the Hope Restart Centre with Brooker Builders site manager Paul Vickery.