Member for Western Victoria
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party

Seeking funding for The Lookout in Dennington

My adjournment debate is for the Premier, and the action I seek is for the Premier to meet with Western Region Alcohol and Drug Centre and other stakeholders who are seeking funding for the Lookout residential rehabilitation facility in Dennington, near Warrnambool. I ask this because the Premier attended a similar forum in Mildura with local independent member Ali Cupper reportedly just last month. I further ask this as the Lookout was not funded in last week’s budget. I recently sent the Premier a letter inviting him to Warrnambool to meet with the local community, WRAD, families affected by addiction, large employers, health services et cetera to hear about the Lookout proposal. The Lookout have over $1.2 million pledged by themselves and the local community for the $3.5 million build, which is just incredible. Recently I met with the Victorian Minister for Health to discuss the Lookout, which was part of my budget submission. Minister Foley was supportive of the project and said he would speak to stakeholders to gauge an update on the project. The following week in the media the minister called for a joint state and federal partnership to fund the Lookout. I queried why a joint funding partnership was necessary for Warrnambool’s Lookout proposal but not for the Mildura proposal, of which the Premier said in question time to the member for Mildura that he hoped that the government: … can look favourably upon the submission that she has made in the forthcoming budget. Further, the residential rehabilitation facilities funded in the 2021–22 budget in Corio, Traralgon and Wangaratta were not funded in a joint partnership but solely by the state government. I find it quite concerning that despite the Lookout being pushed for over five years the Premier is happy to meet with the Mildura community but until this point not the south-west of the Western Victoria electorate. It is imperative that we take the politics out of this issue of addiction. The Warrnambool community do not care who funds the Lookout; they just want it funded for the sake of those they care about and the general wellbeing of the community. So I reiterate that the action that I seek is for the Premier to meet with the stakeholders of the Warrnambool and south-west community who are lobbying for the Lookout residential rehabilitation facility.


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