"We all feel sorry for those who are hooked on drugs, especially ice.” Kelly Butterworth

What turned me against a drug rehab centre in Riverside

ALLOW me to express my two bobs worth to the ongoing saga regarding the drug rehabilitation centre.

I live at Riverside and was not for or against the centre going near our suburb until I attended the meeting at CQUniversity last month.

Obviously the debate was one sided with those against the site for the centre being very vocal.

No, not once did I hear anyone at the meeting speak against having a rehabilitation centre in Rockhampton,

Most of the attendees were annoyed by the way the decision was made, apparently in secret without consultation.

I did feel sorry for the health department officers who had to try to explain the politicians' decision.

Robert Schwarten keeps telling us that the land has been owned by the State Government for years. Yes that's correct, but it was ear-marked for industrial use not health purposes.

I bought my property knowing full well that there was an industrial state nearby. At no stage was it revealed that a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre was going to be built there, because it wasn't earmarked for that purpose.

The State Government has owned land in several locations over the years, one in Norman Road (health reserve) which was given the pony club, and I've got nothing against that.

I also recall a State Government owned property in Rosewood Drive that is now a residential subdivision.

The thing that turned me against having a centre in Birkbeck Drive is the constant letters to the editor which attack the integrity of the residents of Riverside, Old Glenmore and Edenbrook.

I am at retirement age, but there are many young families living around my property, and a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in the neighbourhood has caused concern for these young families.

Mark Birbeck gathered in protest of the proposed location of a drug rehab facility.
Mark Birbeck gathered in protest of the proposed location of a drug rehab facility. Meg Bolton

Whether people like it or not a centre used for this purpose has a stigma about it.

All of the people I have spoken to who live in other areas of Rockhampton would be against having a centre in their suburb.

I realise that drug dealers can live anywhere and we would be fooling ourselves if we believed that they are not in our suburb. Only recently there was a drug bust in Edenbrook.

We all feel sorry for those who are hooked on drugs, especially ice, and anything that can assist people beat their addiction is welcome and supported.

So, I just wish those who are upset by the delays in getting the centre built would think before they blame the residents of these suburbs for expressing their right to protest the decision to build the centre near their homes.

Let's face it, it has been a long time coming and the sooner a decision is made to move it to a more appropriate location the better.

At least the mayor had the common-sense to try and come up with an alternate solution.

Gavin Coles,

Parkhurst.



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