The Lookout Residential Rehabilitation Centre will provide structured, supervised services in a drug and crime-free environment.



Residential rehabilitation centres have operated across Victoria for over 40 years. They have a strong history of helping people to rebuild their lives in a safe and supported environment. This form of therapeutic response has been clinically proven to help people overcome drug and alcohol dependency, improve family relationships and employment options and save lives.


There are clients with complex alcohol and drug problems living in our community right now. 

1. With the right approach and with the right staffing mix and support agencies on board, clients will be safely managed in a drug-free and highly structured setting. Clients will be given medical, psychological, psychiatric and counselling and group therapy support.

2. We will deliver a proven and effective treatment model. 

3. Hard work and commitment from clients is needed to bring about lasting change.


This project will tackle a serious health issue facing our community and we need your support.


Who will use the facility?


Age and gender demographic:  Adult men and women will be treated in a 24-hour supervised environment.   

Public or private and referral pathways:

Client referrals will be screened to make sure that those who receive treatment at the centre are suitable with regard to client mix and readiness for change. Clients will contribute to costs through their Centrelink benefits.


Why Residential Rehab? 


1. It is the missing link in treatment in South West Victoria. Clients are currently treated outside of their community and without support from family/friends.

2. This high-needs group are in the community right now and other treatments are not working for them.

3. As well as problematic substance use, some people have mental health issues, requiring a more intensive residential treatment option.

4. Residential rehabilitation benefits clients/family and the community as well as saving money, and most importantly, lives.



What is Residential Rehab?           


Length of residential rehabilitation treatment can vary widely depending on the person’s needs. A resident may remain at the service for about three months, but a longer stay may be required.

Residential rehabilitation can help people to access employment, reduce their involvement in anti-social behaviour, improve family connections, and ultimately reduce problematic substance use.

Residential Rehabilitation equips people with the skills to successfully take responsibility for their lives and improve their resilience.


Where will The Lookout be built? 


The proposed site is on eight acres at 43 Atkinson’s Lane Dennington.

 The site has been thoroughly investigated and undergone suitable reports and the development of comprehensive building drawings. A detailed management plan describing the residential rehabilitation operations has been produced.


When do you expect the project to be completed?


WRAD is in discussions with the State Government and waiting for the planning application process. The application has been submitted to the local government for consideration.


What will the residential rehabilitation centre do?


  • It will provide a 24-hour structured program that is drug and crime free.

  • We will create new jobs and employ 10 qualified staff with a range of health-related skills and experience who will work closely with a variety of community consultants. The residential rehabilitation centre will be supported by the current WRAD staff team of 28 multi-disciplined staff.

  • Clients will engage in a work-based program that will address mental health, living and social skills.

  • Clients will engage in individual and group therapy as well as sport and recreation and education programs.

  • Clients work to change any negative attitudes and values, confront the reasons why they resorted to drug misuse and learn strategies for dealing with daily life without drugs.

  • Through this rehabilitation process, they are given opportunities to problem solve and take charge of their lives.


Will the residential rehabilitation centre accept clients released from prison?


Yes, but eligibility and a screening process will apply to all applicants and risk assessment will form part of this process. Those who would disrupt other residents' recovery journey would not be considered for treatment at the facility.


To access the service, clients must demonstrate that they are not using problematic substances.

They will be stringently assessed for:

1. Motivation and treatment-readiness

2. Mental health

3. Risky behaviours

4. Drug and crime details

5. Undergo regular drug screening


Where will the clients come from?

Clients will be referred from across the South West catchment and we believe that we can fill the 20 beds from local referrals. The service is also accessible state-wide for those who choose to seek treatment outside of their community.


How long is treatment in a residential rehabilitation program?


Prior to admission to residential rehabilitation, people must attend a withdrawal program. This is typically for 5 – 7 days but may be up to two weeks in duration.

Research suggests that at least 90 days is required to affect the significant changes required.


Where can people go if they feel they need assistance now?     Call 1300 009 723

WRAD provides counselling, brief intervention, referral and support and a day program and works closely with South West Healthcare Residential Withdrawal Unit.

State Government funded adult residential rehabilitation is currently available in Lower Plenty near Melbourne, Maryknoll near Warragul and a new service is opening in Ballarat in October 2018.