Thousands sign overnight petition to change rehab location
WITHIN 14 hours, more than 2,000 people have signed a petition to change the location of a soon-to-be-built drug rehabilitation facility in Rockhampton.
The petition was created last night after the location was leaked on Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga's Facebook page on Monday.
While Riverside Waters estate director Mark Birkbeck leaked the location, he said he made the post based on hearsay and didn't know it was the confirmed location.
The leak has sent both the community and government departments into a frenzy.
Yesterday, Queensland Health prematurely announced the location to be a 14.54-hectare site made from two vacant lots between Birkbeck Drive and Berry St in Parkhurst.
The $14.3 million facility will provide residential rehabilitation, withdrawal management, residential rehabilitation for parents and families.
Construction for the 42-bed facility is planned for 2020 but first it will have to pass the consultation phase.
Queensland Health announced the consultation phase started yesterday but residents of neighbouring estates, Riverside Estate and Edenbrook, are still waiting to be approached.
Creater of the change.org petition Mary-Louise Medlin urged people to use their voice to change the location.
"Please help keep our children and families safe and ensure the future growth of our region," Ms Medlin wrote.
"The State Government has not consulted anyone before making this decision and our local members of Parliament also chose to keep this quiet.
"We are not opposed to this centre and agree that this region requires such a facility. We are urging the State Government however to find a more suitable location that will not be detrimental to our future."
Health Minister Steven Miles is expected to meet with Rockhampton locals at the proposed site this morning.