Council offers up alternative site for drug rehab centre
SOME disgruntled Parkhurst residents can breathe a sigh of relief - the controversial drug rehabilitation centre planned for Birkbeck Dr looks like being moved to the Music Bowl off Yamba Rd.
Rockhampton Regional Council resolved this afternoon to offer a portion of the Music Bowl site for the centre subject to the State Government undertaking appropriate consultation.
The government and Queensland Health had previously shown interest in the site and council also claimed to have offered a portion of the land "some time ago” but nothing resulted from those negotiations.
Mayor Margaret Strelow said the site was not acceptable to Queensland Health at the time.
"Our offer today would instead make the car park site available for the rehabilitation facility and we hope that this offer will be acceptable to both Queensland Health and to our community,” Cr Strelow said.
"The good news from today's decision is that we think we have a win-win.”
The Parkhurst site, which was leaked to the public earlier this month, drew fierce opposition from surrounding Edenbrook and Riverside Estate residents which was apparent at a recent drug rehabilitation forum hosted by Queensland Health.
During the forum, the Music Bowl option was raised by a number of speakers, including the Mayor, and seemed to have the support of many in the room.
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga was relieved to hear the news yesterday. She said it was "a really positive development which has the support of the Dreamtime Centre”.
"Every week we speak to families in Rockhampton and Yeppoon who are struggling with addiction,” she said.
"These families cannot afford to wait any longer for this essential facility.”
For the first time in the saga a site has been identified which has the support of all levels of government.
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said it was "a good solution” resulting from "people power”.
Cr Strelow hoped the neighbouring Dreamtime Cultural Centre would also benefit from further work done to the site by incorporating it with the Music Bowl's facilities.
"We have simultaneously begun discussions and negotiations with the Dreamtime Cultural Centre with a view to the Music Bowl (stage and amphitheatre portion) being added as part of their lease,” she said.
"Council owns both the Music Bowl and the Dreamtime site, with Dreamtime having a long-term lease over their site.
"There are several wins for the community in this,” Cr Strelow said.
"It allows Queensland Health to access their preferred portion of the Music Bowl site but it also means that our much-loved Music Bowl has a new lease of life.”
Mrs Lauga said Queensland Health still needed to "revise their town planning engineering assessment based on the new site”.
"It will take time but it's promising,” she said.