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A $1.6 million sobering-up shelter will open in Tennant Creek next week, replacing an older facility which was demolished. Work began on the construction of the shelter in 2011, with the Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, releasing a joint statement in March 2011 with the Northern Territory Minister for Construction, Gerry McCarthy, indicating that the construction of the new facility was to go ahead.
Up to 4,000 people are expected to use the shelter by the end of this year. Stewart Naylor from the Barkly Region Alcohol and Drug Abuse Advisory Group says the rate of alcohol abuse in Tennant Creek is alarming, and that the new sobering-up shelter is long overdue.
'The service has been running for 27 years,' he said. 'It is just a new building but it is so much better to be able to provide those services. It is a really high need for individuals who have been picked up, who are intoxicated.'