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4 May, 2021

Rehab centre given green light

MAREEBA will become home to a new drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre after the Mareeba Shire Council gave Mission Australia the all clear at last month’s ordinary council meeting.

By Rhys Thomas

MAREEBA will become home to a new drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre after the Mareeba Shire Council gave Mission Australia the all clear at last month’s ordinary council meeting. 

An application was lodged earlier in the year for Mission Australia to build a voluntary residential rehabilitation centre on the outskirts of Mareeba, just past the Davies Creek turnoff. 

The centre is set to house up to 10 clients under a 12-week holistic rehabilitation program followed by a 6-month community aftercare program. 

During the required public notification process there were four submissions all of which objected to the proposed development. 

During the meeting when the motion was passed Councillor Locky Benstead also voted against the development, he was the only councilor to do so. 

Cr Benstead was approached by members of the public who owned property near and adjacent to the proposed development site. 

These residents voiced their concerns about trespassing, theft and a range of other issues that could arise out of having the facility so close to their properties.

“As a councilor you have to weigh up all of your options and I went with the option to stand with the residents,” he said.

“I agree with the facility, I think it’s a wonderful idea, I just don’t agree with its location. 

“I would like to have seen a more proactive approach in security for the facility.” 

In the statement provided by Mission Australia to the MSC they stated that patients attending the facility are their voluntarily and any unauthorised absence from the property will result in their immediate removal. 

Mission Australia Regional Leader Dr Phil Flint said that there has been a need for a facility like this in the region for many years. 

“There is a significant need for alcohol and other drugs withdrawal and rehabilitation services in the greater Cairns region,” he said. 

“For existing illicit substance and alcohol users, their fate rests on the availability of appropriate rehabilitation facilities.

“This service is another great opportunity to deepen our connections here in Mareeba and increase our level of support so we can do our part to help people thrive.” 

Local contractors will be sought out during the construction phase of the rehab centre, set to start in the next financial year.

After construction has finished passionate local community members will be pursued to work at the centre.  


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