The Dubbo region will benefit from a $31.5 million investment in drug rehabilitation and access to justice.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro has announced the NSW Nationals in the state government will invest $27.9 million over the coming four financial years to expand the NSW Drug Court to Dubbo, on top of the recent $3.6 million upgrade to the city’s courthouse.
The Drug Court, currently operating in 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 it provides costs less than sending offenders to prison.
Participants undergo a 12-month program, including mandatory detoxification in jail and drug testing up to three times a week in the community, while receiving interventions to address the underlying causes of drug dependency and offending. Violent or sex offenders are excluded from participating.
“This is a win for the bush and will give our communities, brought to their knees after the devastation of drought, bushfires and COVID-19, the tools and resilience they need to combat illicit drugs,” Mr Barilaro said.
“The Drug Court is a tried and tested silver bullet to help address the abuse of highly addictive and dangerous illicit drugs that continue to cripple our communities.”
NSW Nationals Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders said the Drug Court will offer long-term solutions to keep the Western Plains safe.
“It’s no secret that there are significant drug issues in our communities. We have an opportunity to change lives for the better,” Mr Saunders said.
Senior Drug Court Judge Roger Dive said the program uses an innovative, therapeutic approach to help hardened offenders with entrenched behaviours.
“This program saves lives, reunites families and has lasting positive impacts on individuals and the community,” Judge Dive said.