ROCKY REHAB: Residents protest the proposed location the facility.
ROCKY REHAB: Residents protest the proposed location the facility.

Fresh start for Rocky’s rehab centre

FIVE months have elapsed since tensions boiled over at the Rockhampton rehabilitation community forum in July but there is finally a chance for a fresh start.

A community forum will be held on Monday, December 2, giving locals the opportunity to give feedback on the proposed Music Bowl site for the rehab centre.

Member for Keppel Britt­any Lauga said she looked forward to hearing from the community.

“The State Government remains committed to delivering the residential rehabilitation facility to help those affected by drug and alcohol in Central Queensland,” Ms Lauga said.

“The community forum will provide locals with the opportunity to have their say on the centre and find out more information on the vital services it will provide.”

Queensland Health delivered the news into the letter­boxes across the Parkhurst area yesterday to invite residents to share their views.

“We’re really keen to hear feedback so we can make sure this is a service we’re really proud of and one that other ­regions look to as an example,” Ms Lauga said.

More than a hundred residents filled a lecture theatre at CQUniversity in July, with the majority furious they weren’t consulted in the process to find a location for the centre.

Their anger was sparked when they found out about the location of the centre via an online post on Ms Lauga’s Facebook page about a week before the forum.

ANGRY: Noeleen Horan stood in the crowd at an organised meeting opposed to the Rocky rehab centre.
ANGRY: Noeleen Horan stood in the crowd at an organised meeting opposed to the Rocky rehab centre.

The Stand Together and Say No Facebook group emerged overnight as a result of the post and the group’s supporters held signs at the forum in protest of the Birkbeck Dr site.

After about two-and-a-half hours of heated discussion between medical professionals and the protesters, Deputy ­Director-General Clinical ­Excellence Queensland Dr John Wakefield announced progression at the Parkhurst site would be paused.

Since then Queensland Health began feasibility studies at the Music Bowl location.

While these studies are still underway, the traffic impact study has given the green light to proceed with the preferred site.

Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the findings were a step forward in ­securing a site for the service.

The facility will provide 42 beds for individual residential rehabilitation and withdrawal management, and two family units to assist parents.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said the Music Bowl ­location was still the preferred site.

Queensland Health is continuing negotiations with Rockhampton Regional Council regarding site selection and design.

The community forum will be held at the Australian Shearing Shed at Rockhampton Heritage Village on ­December 2 from 6pm.