Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Charity Vows to Fight Council Refusal of Rehab Centre in Court; Residents Determined to Block Rehab Facility

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Charity Vows to Fight Council Refusal of Rehab Centre in Court; Residents Determined to Block Rehab Facility

Article excerpt

Byline: Brian Bennion brian.bennion@qt.com.au

THE charity behind a rehabilitation centre for homeless youth proposed for suburban Dinmore will push ahead with plans, despite objections from residents and Ipswich City Council.

The council has refused the development application for 7Queen St, Dinmore, saying the proposed youth home and rehabilitation premises would "result in unacceptable impacts" on the residential area and the local road network.

Objections were received from 24 nearby residents, who voiced concerns the facility would be used for drug rehabilitation.

The residents were concerned about the safety of children in the neighbourhood, impacts on the character of the suburb, privacy, security and limited parking for the facility as the street is already congested with commuters parking close to Dinmore train station.

The council's decision has shocked the developers, The Gate 1 Chance Charity, who will appeal the decision in the Planning and Environment Court.

Founder Mary Hurst said the group had widespread support to establish the facility and since being established in 2012, had raised more than $100,000 to assist homeless people in Ipswich, providing food parcels, clothing and vouchers for those in need.

She denied suggestions the Dinmore facility would be used to rehabilitate people with drug addictions, saying it was a residential home for vulnerable youth aged 17-25 needing emergency accommodation.

"We're fighting (the decision) now, we're appealing it," she said.

"It is just a house. It is a home for people to live in that are homeless. But for some reason these people have got up in arms about it. They don't realise how it is going to be better for our community to have these people in a home than it is living on the street.

"I work every day with these people that I see on the street. I've been out at 3am with people phoning me saying they have no food and they are hungry, they have nowhere to live.

"I'm still here, so what is the unsafe part of it I don't know.

"It is not a drug rehab and they are not criminals."

Local councillor Bruce Casos said Ms Hurst had told him the facility was for rehabilitation of people with drug offences. …

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