New meth rehabs under ‘radical’ WA Labor plan

WA Labor leader Mark McGowan.
WA Labor leader Mark McGowan.

The South West and the Kimberley will each gain regional rehabilitation centres under a "radical" new meth plan proposed by WA Labor ahead of the March election.

“The methamphetamine scourge in our community reached crisis point long ago,” WA Labor leader Mark McGowan said when announcing the package.

“We need drastic action and we need it now. The current approach of cheap slogans and ad-hoc responses isn’t working.”

The plan includes changes in prison rehabilitation and support, an additional $2 million per year into existing treatment facilities, fast-tracked guardianship and administration applications, and increased roadside alcohol and drug testing.

Mr McGowan said the state had the highest methamphetamine use in the country, with one in 25 people using the drug.

"Rehabilitation prisons is a radical measure, it has never been done in Western Australia," he said.

“A McGowan Labor Government will work with experts and stakeholders on early targeted prevention, better treatment services and effective withdrawal services.

“Our plan will help address the woeful lack of residential and community-based treatment facilities in WA. We will inject an additional $2 million per annum into treatment facilities to respond to early intervention and severe methamphetamine dependence.”

The two proposed drug rehabilitation prisoners will be allocated for men and women respectively, and will target low-level  drug related offenders serving short prison sentences to break the cycle of drug related crime in WA.

Mr McGowan said the plan would tackle entrenched cycles that continued meth abuse both in public and within the prison system.

“We are creating a new role for our prisons to enable us to target those prisoners who offer the greatest chance at rehabilitation," Mr McGowan said.

“Our prison system has become a crime university, putting minor offenders in overcrowded prisons with serious criminals.

“We can’t keep doing what doesn’t work, it’s time for a fresh approach to stop reoffending and reduce crime.”

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