Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders says a dedicated drug court for the region is a signal of the NSW Government’s commitment to tackle the region’s ice issues.
Mr Saunders joined Deputy Premier John Barilaro, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Attorney General Mark Speakman at Dubbo Courthouse on Thursday to announce funding of $27.9 million for the expansion of the drug court to Dubbo will be included in the 2021 Budget, which will be handed down by Mr Perrottet next Tuesday.
The Drug Court, currently at Sydney, Parramatta and Toronto, is a multi-agency response to drug-related offending. The court is proven to be more efficient at driving down crime and the intensive rehabilitation that it provides costs less than sending offenders to prison.
“It’s no secret that ice, and other drugs, are an issue in our part of the world but through this announcement, and the development of a dedicated rehabilitation facility, we are showing that we have a desire to solve the issue,” Mr Saunders said.
“I have always said there is a need for these facilities in the region, but the most important thing is that the correct process is followed and things are done right.
“Work is going on behind the scenes with the rehab facility, and now that we have funding for a drug court we will be able to take a holistic approach to dealing with people who suffer from drug addiction.”
Mr Saunders thanked his parliamentary colleagues for being receptive to his calls for support, with a $3.7 million expansion of Dubbo Courthouse also part of the program.
“People in our region have been calling for these facilities for some time,” Mr Saunders said.
“There has been a commitment to listening to the recommendations of the special commission of inquiry into the drug ‘Ice’ and we’re doing that.
“I thank the Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Attorney-General for their support on this project, as well as the Health Minister Brad Hazzard, who has been supportive when it comes to the rehabilitation facility.”