Residents: 'There couldn't be a stupider position for it'
THE location of Rockhampton's soon-to-be-built drug rehabilitation centre has sparked community outrage after its intended whereabouts were leaked yesterday on Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga's Facebook page.
Riverside Waters estate managing director Mark Birkbeck leaked the location via a Facebook post demanding Mrs Lauga told residents the truth.
"Brittany, you need to come clean to the residents of Riverside Estate and Edenbrook," Mr Birkbeck wrote.
He said Mrs Lauga must admit she positioned the "drug rehab centre placed right next door to hundreds of families and children with absolutely zero public consultation".
"What an insult to all the families of this area," Mr Birkbeck said.
"There couldn't be a stupider position for it to go."
While Mr Birbeck made the post based on hearsay, his worries were confirmed yesterday.
The proposed 14.54-hectare site was confirmed to be the two vacant lots between Birkbeck Drive and Berry St in Parkhurst.
The site is covered in bushland and is located eight kilometres from the city.
"I've been lied to by the minister's office," Mr Birkbeck said.
"It's politicians playing games with residents."
Other angry residents have joined Mr Birkbeck to make a neighbourhood group against the drug rehabilitation facility.
They plan to confront the Health Minister Steven Miles when he visits the site, which is believed to be today.
The leaked location has also caused community consultations for the 42-bed facility to begin earlier than expected. Queensland Health announced consultations were to start yesterday but Mr Birkbeck doubted their claims.
He said no Queensland Health officials had visited in the local estates.
Three weeks ago, Mrs Lauga was pressured by Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington to reveal the location of the drug rehabilitation centre - she refused but said it was not located in a residential area.
While the site is not technically residential, frantic residents say it's too close to home.
Mrs Lauga said she had not been involved in detailed site investigation but trusted the Parkhurst site was the most appropriate.
The facility will accept referrals from across the state, with priority placed on clients living in the Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Mackay and Central West Hospital and Health Service regions.
Deputy Director-General Clinical Excellence Queensland Dr John Wakefield said the new service would provide important health services for people with substance use problems.
"The new health facility will be purpose-designed to deliver safe and high-quality care in a therapeutic environment, surrounded by bushland," he said.
"Queensland Health will hold an information evening in the next fortnight about this important service, and I encourage interested residents to attend.
"Queensland Health has identified this site because of the tranquil, semi-rural setting away from the major centre that will provide a private space for people to focus on recovery."
The $14.3million facility will provide residential rehabilitation, withdrawal management, residential rehabilitation for parents and families.