Grampians Community Health reviews drink-drive assessment program

Greg Little

Greg Little

GRAMPIANS Community Health is reviewing its drink-drive assessment program.

The organisation runs drink and drug-drive programs for people who have lost their licences due to a drink or drug-driving offence.

Palm Lodge Alcohol and Drug Centre established drink-drive assessment and education programs in the 1980s, which Grampians Community Health continued after it took over the centre in the early 2000s.

The drug-drive assessment program started in 2015, with participants able to complete a one-day course in Horsham or Stawell.

The programs aim to give people a better understanding of the effects of alcohol and drugs, and help them develop strategies to reduce the risks associated with their use.

Grampians Community Health chief executive Greg Little said the organisation was looking at how to improve the drink-drive program.

“The person who does the drink-drive program is on long-service leave at the moment, and while that’s happening we’re looking at the business model around the program,” he said.

“We’ve spoken with the Justice Department about it. Our intention is that 100 per cent it will be reinstated, but only as we look at the business model.”

Mr Little said Ballarat was the next-closest provider of drink-drive assessment programs.

“However we know only a small minority of people who use our service actually come from the Wimmera,” he said.

“Because it is a fee-for-service program, people will base it on their court date and find a course that is closest to that, which means they often travel elsewhere.

“We have people from Melbourne coming to Grampians Community Health to do our courses, because they are closest to the time when they get their licence back.

“It is a really valuable service and we want to run it, but the program is not the be all and end all of supporting people. We can work with people earlier and support them before that stage.”

Mr Little said he had enjoyed his time at Grampians Community Health since stepping into the chief executive position in late August.

“One of the things I've wanted to do is raise our profile, and I think we've been able to do that,” he said.


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