STEP CLOSER: Member for Keppel and Assistant Education Minister Brittany Lauga says a preferred site for the new rehabilitation centre has been identified.
STEP CLOSER: Member for Keppel and Assistant Education Minister Brittany Lauga says a preferred site for the new rehabilitation centre has been identified. Aden Stokes

Rehabilitation centre one step closer to construction

A PREFERRED site for Rockhampton's $14.3 million residential rehabilitation centre has been identified and design and business cases are expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Member for Keppel and Assistant Education Minister Brittany Lauga, who instigated the proposal for the centre following meetings with families of local drug users, has been advocating for the project for the past two years.

"I understand that a preferred site (in Rockhampton and to be made public soon) has been identified for the facility, and the schematic level design and the detailed business case are expected to be completed by the end of this year," Mrs Lauga said.

"Construction is planned for 2020."

The Queensland Budget includes a $14.3 million commitment for a 42-bed, rehab and detox facility for alcohol and drug users.

There will be 32 beds in that facility for residential rehabilitation, where people can stay and be treated, eight beds for withdrawal stage or detox treatment, and two family units so people can get the treatment they need with their families supporting them on their journey.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington has called on Labor to operate transparently.

"Labor must stop keeping Rockhampton residents in the dark and reveal the site," Mrs Frecklington said.

She said what started as an election promise was turning into a Labor cover-up.

"We know Labor looked at more than 30 sites and it's time to give the community certainty about where this facility will be located and when it will open," she said.

"This is an important health initiative for the region, but keeping the site secret shows blatant disrespect to the Rockhampton community from Labor.

"Brittany Lauga knows enough to tell parliament about the project - she should tell the people she's supposed to represent what site has been chosen."