OUR SAY: Ice rehab funds must come here

A POLITICAL promise of critical drug rehabilitation funding for the Fraser Coast is a potential game-changer for a region crippled by ice addiction and the destruction it is causing to our families and the community.

The Chronicle can reveal State Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls will on Friday announce a $52 million action plan to tackle the insidious drug's reach across Queensland should his party take power on November 25.

This plan includes establishing a dedicated residential rehabilitation centre in the Wide Bay.

Welcome news just days after this paper, through its Fair Go For Our Kids campaign, revealed 16% of locals aged between 18-24, were long term methamphetamine users.

But while the LNP has rightly identified this region as being at the coalface of the ice epidemic, our message to the next premier of Queensland, whoever that may be, is that too much is at stake to get it wrong.

Methamphetamine pure crystals (also known as \
Drugs are a serious problem on the Fraser Coast. Martin Sykes

Too often, city politicians are quick to try and reinvent the wheel without paying close enough attention to the private organisations which have already laid the foundation.

Right here in Hervey Bay we a have a dedicated rehabilitation centre, saving lives, restoring families and reducing crime with no assistance from the government.

A great deal of editorial space in the past seven years has been dedicated to the incredible work of Bayside Transformations.

Like many others in the community, our staff have been deeply touched by the testimonials of residents who have broken free of the ice stranglehold after completing the intensive program.

For too long however, red tape and the elephant in the room - the organisation's partnership with a church - has diverted government funding elsewhere.

Any concerns one may have about the faith residents are encouraged to draw on during their stay would immediately be dispelled the moment you meet someone who has come out the other side.

Ask the families who have had their loved ones restored to them whether they mind the Christian influence.

This is too important for political correctness.

The Chronicle stands beside Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen in supporting the Bayside Transformations team and calling on the leaders of this state to turn their attention here.