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1 in 5 Australians will grapple with risky addiction in their lifetime.

The total AOD investment in Australia is approximately $1.6 billion. These settings cost Australians $80.3 billion annually.

In Victoria there are approximately 532 State-funded beds with 3600 on public waiting lists each day. 98% of the rehabilitation beds in Victoria are private and unregulated meaning prices skyrocket.



  • Provide free 28-day inpatient treatment for working Victorians and their families with the support of Odyssey House, Employers and Trade Unions. 

  • Provide weekly relapse prevention for working Victorians and their families.

  • Provide comprehensive outreach support for working Victorians.

  • Provide fit for purpose toolbox talks to give working Victorians training and education on suicide prevention and alcohol, drug and gambling support.

  • Provide training to working Victorians and the tools to assist their workmates with mental health and addiction issues.

  • Provide critical incident response capability for all Victorian workplaces.

  • Provide a space for new graduates in alcohol and other drugs, mental health and lived experience to enter the workforce.



The Crossing will seek land on a peppercorn lease and one-off investment from government to build a rehabilitation, outpatient, outreach and suicide prevention service for working Victorians and their families.

Following this one-off investment, trade unions in partnership with employers, superannuation funds and income protection firms will fund the service. 

This will ensure that the service is built by working people, for working people and owned forever by working people.


  • Working Victorians are mostly unable to access treatment services as they are inaccessible due to cost or time required to be admitted.

  • A stronger workforce education across all sectors in mental health and issues of addiction. Currently it takes an average of 20 years for someone to seek assistance with addiction due to shame and stigma. This will go a long way to reducing alcohol, drug and gambling related harms as we can assist members earlier.

  • As the funding may be generated by clauses in Enterprise Agreements, raising trade union membership fees and fundraising partnerships with superannuation and income protection funds, this will mean that working Victorians will be able to access treatment without fear of losing their employment.

  • This will amplify the Royal Commission into Mental Health's recommendation that Victoria must begin to initiate measures that promote 'Mentally Healthy Workplaces" as we will be giving working Victorians and Employers the tools to achieve this.

  • These beds will be counted as part of the public bedstock and we will commit to allocating 10% of our stock to the most vulnerable Victorians.



One in Five Australians will grapple with risky addiction in their lifetime with an estimated 3,600 Victorians on public waiting lists everyday.


The Andrews' Labor Government must be applauded for its courageous efforts in more than doubling the amount of public rehabilitation beds across the State. However, even with this significant investment far too many are still being left behind.


The chronic underfunding of the alcohol and other drugs sector is amplified for working people and their families.


Approximately 98% of rehabilitation offered in Victoria are in the private sector and without stringent regulation. Far too often, trade unions are confronted with the stark reality of what working people and their families are forced to go through when trying to access this critical healthcare.

In Victoria that largely unregulated private rehabilitation services mean that working people are often confronted with re-mortgaging their house, taking out loans or withdrawing their superannuation to pay for services that can cost up to $30,000 per month.

The lack of diversity in bed stock, particularly in terms of proposed length of rehabilitation stay renders the majority of the Victorian services inaccessible for working people as they simply cannot afford to attend treatment for months without risk to their employment, nor can they afford the exorbitant fees attached to the private sector beds.

It is proven that addiction is a chronic health condition, meaning that oftentimes people require multiple attempts at beating their addiction. It is urgent that we implement more services specifically tailored to the unique requirements of working people and their families.

It is clear that the current system of treatment requires fresh ideas and methodologies of providing suitable treatment to working people and their families and funding models that works both for patients, employers and the government with the view of easing the burden on the community, working-class people and the government’s purse strings.

For this reason we are proposing a tri-partisan collaboration for a 28-day inpatient treatment facility funded by the trade union movement and business after an initial investment from the Andrews’ Labor Government coupled with an establishment of an outreach and outpatient service, inclusive of toolbox talks for delegates, health and safety representatives, organisers and working people from all sectors with the support of trade unions, employers and the government.


The Covid-19 pandemic has further exacerbated this issue and has highlighted the desperate need for a such a service.

This program will help break the stigma of seeking assistance for issues of addiction and together with early intervention will ensure working class people may receive treatment before they have hit rock bottom losing family, friends, housing, and their employment, keeping them connected and productive members of the community and the workforce. In line with our trade union values, we have committed to dedicating a percentage of our bedstock to the most disadvantaged in our community.

A 28-day inpatient treatment facility, complete with outpatient, outreach, relapse prevention, crisis response and on-site boots on the ground support and training for working people, their families and friends, employers and representatives will ensure that there is a collective, coordinated and best practice response to tackling the negative impacts of prolonged addiction.

For us, the statistics are damning and require an urgent response.

But ultimately, like the Andrews' Labor government, we do not see numbers on a spreadsheet. Each member who tackles addiction is a story of hope.

We need innovative, sophisticated solutions to complex issues such as addiction and we know that we have the most cost-effective, fit-for purpose model for working Victorians to ease the burden on our already overcrowded healthcare system.

But we cannot do this without you, our members. We simply can't.

And we can't do this without each other.


Want to know more about the enterprise agreement?

Download it via the link below.

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