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Vic to get 90 new rehab beds in ice fight

 

Nearly 100 new rehabilitation beds will open and addict support services will expand as part of an $81 million investment in Victoria's battle against the scourge of the drug ice.

Funding will be made available from July 1 for 30 new beds in existing facilities across the state.

The government then wants to create up to another 60 residential beds in regional areas, with almost $10 million to be spent to buy land for centres in the Gippsland, Barwon and Hume regions.

Money will also be spent on:

* employing 34 indigenous health workers to help indigenous communities

* improving services for those moving in or out of care who may be at risk of overdose; and

* creating treatment places for 960 people on community corrections orders.

The new funding is on top of the $100 million the state government has already spent on its Ice Action Plan.

On Friday, Premier Daniel Andrews said next Tuesday's budget would include more "strong support to provide the tailored services" for addicts.

"All too often someone may present as a family violence client needing support and assistance. The same person may need assistance with a drug and alcohol problem, with a homelessness problem, financial counselling," he said.

Former addict turned support worker Daniel Timms said the new beds were sorely needed because wait times of at least two weeks could end up with people turning away from treatment.

"You might be feeling like you want to get your life together one day but you can change your mind within 24 hours," he said.

The opposition has accused the government of dragging its feet.

"Daniel Andrews claims they're not wasting any time but what he failed to say is Labor had added zero public residential rehab beds in Victoria after more than two years in government," opposition mental health spokeswoman Emma Kealy said.

With just a few days until its third budget, the Andrews government also announced on Friday it would spend $28.5 million in the next stage of treaty negotiations with the state's indigenous people.

The money will go towards a new representative body, further consultation and a self-determination plan, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Natalie Hutchins said.