Rehab facility gets council green light
MONTHS of community debate and consultation came to fruition on Tuesday night with Harvey Shire Council giving the green light to the Palmerston Residential Rehabilitation facility.
The council unanimously approved the change of use for buildings in Brunswick Junction, which have previously been a prison, a railway barracks and a therapeutic campus, so the rehabilitation facility could go ahead.
Harvey shire president Tania Jackson said the facility would be an asset for the Brunswick community and the region.
“It gives an option for people to have that support they need to restart their lives after substance abuse or alcohol abuse,” she said.
Palmerston chief executive officer Sheila McHale said she was relieved the process of establishing the facility could now move ahead.
“It’s been a very thorough process and what this means is we can now start to address some of the need that has been expressed to us over the months that we’ve been working on this,” she said.
Cr Jackson said with a review of the Risk Management Plan scheduled for every two years as part of the approval conditions, the council would continue to monitor the facility and any issues that arose.
“We’ll review that every two years to make sure that it still is meeting the needs of the community,” she said.
Ms McHale said the next step was to finalise buying the building and then begin renovations.
“It’s not structural work but it’s getting it up to the standard that we want it to be,” she said.
“We’ve been getting quotes from local suppliers so we’ll be creating a lot of work for people.”
Ms McHale said there was no figure for the cost of renovation but Palmerston would apply for Lotterywest grants.
“It’s going to be several hundred thousand dollars to get it up to the standard that we want,” she said.
“We probably won’t see a lot happening before November but we’re working very hard to get it up and running early in 2018.”