Passionate advocates in Dubbo have called for Indigenous voices to help shape the Dubbo rehab centre.
Members of the Glen rehabilitation centre, a men's only run facility based on the Central Coast, were in Dubbo on Monday hosting a Q&A for residents.
Staff explained how their facility worked, helped advise the community of the key ways to build a successful facility and provided insight to the process ahead for Dubbo.
Executive director at The Glen rehabilitation centre, Joe Coyte helped facilitate the forum and said with their 26-years experience, they wanted to inform the community of how a facility will work, and share what's needed to make it successful.
- Dubbo drug and rehab centre funding announced by NSW government
- Carolyn and Rick Lean share story of son Cameron to highlight importance of rehab, court
- Dubbo Court receives $3.6 million to build a fourth courtroom, potential drug court
- Ann-Maree speaks out about her experiences and how important a drug rehab is for Dubbo
"It is now time that we ask the community, 'what is next?' The announcements about funding are very good, but there is a real risk that the service that the community ends up with is not what the community pictured it being," he said.
The main message facilitators from the Glen emphasised was that the success of a Dubbo rehabilitation and detoxification facility would come from the involvement of the community.
"It is possible to spend a lot of money and build a rehab the community don't like, and once they don't like it you know what happens, that's a disaster," Mr Coyte said.
Mr Coyte explained the first tender was the most important stage of the process, which would determine how the drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in Dubbo would look and run.
He said who is appointed as the non-government organisation during this process would also impact the type of facility Dubbo would have, and highlighted that the facility would not be a "magic wand" for all community members in the region.
"This is where I'm the bearer of bad news, there's going to be some really hard decisions that need to be made," he said.
"The reality is the service that you're going to end up with here, probably isn't going to be ideal for everyone's circumstances," Mr Coyte said.
Community members attending the Q&A directed questions toward Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders, calling for the centre to address the over representation of Indigenous people who need rehab.
Community member Joe Williams stressed the importance of an Indigenous non-government run organisation securing the tender.
"Again it's not a specific rehab for Aboriginal people, but Aboriginal people make up a huge content of this Western Local Health District and area. There's going to be a huge proportion of Aboriginal people in that service. We need [Indigenous leaders] to be sitting at those tables and facilitating those conversations," he said.
Mr Williams argued, that culture was the central point in the healing process for Indigenous people, and therefore it was important to have Indigenous voices working to shape and inform the Dubbo rehabilitation and detoxification centre to be culturally-appropriate.
"We need non-Indigenous people to start advocating for us healing us now, and that's the way it's going to happen, because we've been shouting about it for 200 years," Mr Williams said.
"It's not us having a go at you, it's about you know whats best for your family, we reckon we might know what's best for our family. It's not black, white or putting a wedge between people it's just about Aboriginal people know what's best for Aboriginal people, and it's time to listen."
Mr Saunders said the details of how the Dubbo rehab would run were "not set in stone", but assured there would be community consultation and committed to having Indigenous voices incorporated into the process.
"Without saying anything that's actually happened, [Indigenous voice facilitating the conversations] will happen. Those conversations haven't started yet, but when they do start to happen they will. And that's a commitment that I will make today, that that will happen," Mr Saunders said.
"People think rehab is you build something and it just happens, but what you've shown today is a lot more needs to be done.
"I can tell you there is a team that is working right now, from NSW Health and also the department of regional NSW that's working on what this will look like, but taking the community with it.
"I want you to be assured that is happening, and something that will pick up a bit of speed and momentum next year."
"All I want, and all we want, is the most appropriate rehab facility for here and for the future ...There's no hard and fast approach about anything at this stage, it's just about getting it right," Mr Saunders said.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR DUBBO
Mr Coyte broke down the next steps following the announcement of funding for the rehabilitation and detoxification centre in Dubbo, which he highlighted would take time.
NSW Health will receive a final breakdown from the treasury for the $7.5 million spend and where costs will be allocated.
A tender process will be run by the NSW Health and Local Health District to find a non-government organisation to run the Dubbo rehab.
Once an organisation is selected to take on the job, they will work with the council to find a site for the facility and proceed with consent and a development application.
Another tender process would take place to select a company for construction. While this would take place, people would need to be recruited for the centre, which Mr Coyte said was important that the "right people were employed and working for the right reasons".