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Bundaberg residential rehabilitation and withdrawal service

The Queensland Government is delivering a new alcohol and other drug service to better meet the health needs of people and families in Bundaberg and surrounding communities in the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service region. The new adult residential treatment service will deliver withdrawal management and care, as well as a rehabilitation program.

The new service is voluntary for people aged 18 years and over who want to make positive changes in relation to their alcohol and other drug use. The facility will include 28 places for residential treatment service for adults, including 8 withdrawal management beds and 20 rehabilitation beds.

Location

It is proposed to construct the new service at 57 Wilmington Road, Thabeban.

The new service will comprise of low-rise buildings across a 1.5-hectare site which will include:

  • accommodation for 20 adult individuals
  • an 8-bed withdrawal unit
  • an administrative building with reception for clients and visitors, and office space for staff
  • car parking for approximately 20 cars and an area for ambulance access
  • a treatment program area for rehabilitation clients
  • kitchen, dining and laundry
  • indoor and outdoor spaces for recreation, program activities and cultural components of care.

The treatment provider

Treatment services will be delivered by a specialist and experienced non-government organisation (NGO) provider of alcohol and other drugs treatment and care, under contract with the Department of Health. Following Queensland Health policy, a procurement process will be carried out to identify the NGO provider. The land and buildings will be owned by the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service.

Services

Treatment services will include residential rehabilitation, generally a 6 to 12 week structured program for up to 20 people at one time, and withdrawal management and care to support to cease substance use for up to 8 people at one time. Pre and post-treatment will also be provided for clients.

The service will require residents to actively participate in their own recovery. Admission will be restricted to people assessed as suitable for a residential program. The safety and wellbeing of staff, residents and the community will be a key priority. Referrals to the new service will be prioritised from Bundaberg and other parts of the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service region.

The service will be staffed and operate, and participants will be supervised 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The main operating hours of the service are expected to be 8:30am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday.

Community engagement and feedback

Queensland Health will undertake ongoing engagement with the local community as part of planning and service establishment.

Queensland Health’s pre-engagement activities have been undertaken to seek endorsement from the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning (DSDILGP) for a Ministerial Infrastructure Designation (MID) process.

In addition to the MID process, Queensland Health undertook 2 Community Information Forums for neighbouring residents held on 23 August 2021 at the Brother’s Sports Club in West Bundaberg, and on 8 March 2022 at the Avenell Height Community Hall in Thabeban.

The next consultation will occur during the formal DSDILGP public notification stage of the MID process. DSDILGP will confirm when this public notification stage can commence and community members and stakeholders have 20 business days in which to respond.

Feedback and questions about the Bundaberg service can be sent to AOD_CapitalProjects@health.qld.gov.au.

The following information addresses some of the questions and feedback raised by the community to date.

Why Bundaberg?

While there are some existing services in Bundaberg and the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service region that provide alcohol and other drug treatment and care, the new residential service will improve access to more intensive bed-based withdrawal management and rehabilitation treatment. It will contribute to meeting the alcohol and other drug service demand in the region and complement treatment provided by other services.

The service will benefit the Bundaberg community through the creation of new jobs for the construction and delivery of the new residential service. It is estimated that the service will employ up to approximately 25 full time positions across all functions.

Residential care in a community setting

Alcohol and drug residential services are part of a range of treatment options for people who need help with their substance use.

Residential, or community bed-based services are primarily for people that need more intensive treatment, than can be provided through appointment-based counselling. This is usually over a period of 6 weeks to 3 months, with follow up care.

The residential setting helps support engagement in therapeutic activities and the development of better daily living skills. Residential services should not be isolated from the community and include access to transport and other services to support recovery and community re-integration.

Reducing impact from flooding

Queensland Health has taken local community feedback into consideration, and has also commissioned investigations of the site in terms of stormwater drainage and localised flooding. Queensland Health will incorporate mitigation strategies into design and construction to reduce impacts from any flooding events on the facility and surrounding areas.

Crime and Community safety

There is no evidence to suggest crime rates or safety issues increase because of residential treatment services. Effective treatment contributes to reducing substance use and to improving community safety.

Queensland Health and Queensland Police Service will work together with the local community to address any issues should they arise.

Noise from surrounding area

Queensland Health has taken local community feedback into consideration, and has also commissioned acoustic investigations of the site. Mitigation strategies will be incorporated into design and construction to reduce any impact from surrounding noise.

Contact us

Please direct feedback or questions about the Bundaberg service to AOD_CapitalProjects@health.qld.gov.au.

Last updated: 14 April 2022