Community & Business

1 July, 2022

Rehab facility build begins

CONSTRUCTION has begun on the region’s first openly accessible drug and alcohol rehab facility just outside of Mareeba, with plans to be operational before the end of the year.

By Rhys Thomas

The new drug and alcohol rehab facility, just outside of Mareeba, is under construction.
The new drug and alcohol rehab facility, just outside of Mareeba, is under construction.

The new Mission Australia facility will house 10 voluntarily admitted patients as part of a 12-week holistic rehabilitation program followed by a six month community aftercare program. 

The project started in January with aims to be completed by October and operational by November, depending on certain factors like sourcing of materials and staff. 

Once operational, the facility will provide around 13 full-time positions plus other part-time positions including administrative staff as well as specialty staff. 

Mission Australia North Queensland regional leader Phil Flint said the facility was voluntary and people could admit themselves to the service or be referred by a doctor or other sources. 

The facility will be the only one of its kind in Far North Queensland, as other facilities are specifically targeted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

“It is a residential rehab facility, it is a voluntary 12-week residential program up to 10 people for 12 weeks,” he said. 

“Running four times a year, we expect around 40 people to be supported through the program each year.” 

When brought before Mareeba Shire Council for approval, Cr Locky Benstead voted against the recommended approval for the facility, citing that nearby property owners had approached him about their concerns of patients wandering off the facility’s property and onto their own. 

Mr Flint said Mission Australia conducted community consultation through the development process and engaged with nearby property owners, alleviating their concerns. 

“There was a small number of questions or concerns around the nature of the program and we have been able to talk through the nature of the program,” he said. 

“People are there because they want to be there and if they don’t want to be there, they are free to leave, there is 24/7 support of a therapeutic nature.

“We also met one on one with anyone that was concerned, we had different information sessions and broadly speaking, the community is very supportive and appreciative to have additional support for the community with alcohol and other drug support services.”


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