The Warrnambool region is looking out for its own by committing more than $500,000 to the Lookout residential rehabilitation appeal.

Boosted by recent support from local Rotary clubs and the Gall Family Foundation, the appeal now stands at $504,000.

WRAD Director Geoff Soma said passing the half million mark proved “Warrnambool looks out for its own”.

“We want to thank the Rotary clubs and the Gall Family Foundation and all those who have become before them for their generous donations to make this possible,” Mr Soma said.

“This sends a strong message to government that this project needs to happen.”

WRAD has committed $600,000 to the new centre and aims to raise $605,000 in the community appeal.

Mr Soma said the campaign was continuing. “We’ve had another positive meeting with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Committee is working hard and responding to their queries,” Mr Soma said.

WRAD is also seeking support from Western District MP James Purcell.

“Our community and clients and families deserve a local treatment response in making the residential rehab happen,” Mr Soma said.

South-west Rotary clubs are getting behind the Lookout appeal. Clubs in Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Portland have agreed to support the appeal as a major local fund-raiser.

On November 10 the Lookout appeal stands at $504,000 with more donations expected in the coming weeks.

Mr Soma welcomed the support of Rotary clubs. “Service clubs are a very important part of our community and they see the benefit in providing a suite of services for people on a number of levels, including those with alcohol and other drug problems,” he said.

Warrnambool Central Rotary Club will donate $5000 and President Phillip Ritchie said the club was pleased to support a major local project. “We do a lot of work across Australia and internationally but it’s good to support a local initiative to help people get back on track,” Mr Ritchie said. “We think this is something that could lead to better things for a lot of local people.”

Warrnambool Rotary Club treasurer Michael Boyd said the club would make the Lookout the major recipient of its dinner auction this year, expected to raise at least $5000.

Mr Boyd said all local clubs had agreed to support the Lookout. “Some of the clubs haven’t as yet been able to specify the amount they’ll donate but the Lookout has the support of all the Rotary clubs in the Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Portland areas.”

Mr Boyd said the Lookout was a worthy cause.

“It’s obvious there is a need for this centre,” he said. “We’ve all had experience of people with drug and alcohol problems and short-term care isn’t long enough for them to take control in a meaningful manner.”

The community can continue to support the appeal with 100 collection tins throughout Warrnambool, or by directly donating at the ANZ Bank or through the WRAD website