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Victoria’s first sobering centre to open in Collingwood

The centre will be a safe place for intoxicated civilians.

The Andrews Government is set to establish Victoria’s first sobering centre in Collingwood.

The centre provides a safe place for not-for-profit community health organisation, cohealth, to transport severely publicly intoxicated civilians.

This initiative comes ahead of legislation scheduled to be introduced in November which focuses on decriminalising public drunkenness.

Mental Health Minister Gabrielle Williams said this is part of a wider strategy to treat public intoxication as a health concern, rather than an illegal act.

“For too long, public drunkenness laws have caused great pain to some of our community’s most vulnerable – these health-led reforms strike the right balance between supporting people who are intoxicated and community safety,” she said.

The location’s facility was chosen for its proximity to the CBD, public transport, and St Vincent’s Hospital.

With the 20-bed centre acting as a hub between all of those areas to help maximise the facility’s efforts.

The premises will employ specially trained staff who will work in tandem with local health and social support services.

By doing so, it allows patrons who have been transported to the centre access to services related to alcohol and other drugs, family violence, homelessness, mental health and wellbeing, or financial difficulties.

A spokeswoman for the Andrews Government said that construction will begin soon, aiming to have the centre in use before the legislation is passed.

Photo: Bottles on top of a table available HERE and used under a Creative Commons license. This image has not been modified.

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