No methadone for super clinic

RUMOURS of a methadone centre operating out of the proposed Grafton GP super clinic and claims that the site was poorly chosen have been slammed by Ochre Health.

“I spent four months evaluating 15 sites in Grafton and the proposed site had the best location in terms of access for the community on both sides of the river,” director of Ochre Health Foundation, Peter Bayley, said.

“The key thing is zoning is also appropriate for the development site.”

Mr Bayley said the health foundation had no intentions of a running a drug rehabilitation centre or a methadone outlet from the clinic and the majority of clientele would be general practice patients with a particular focus on patients with chronic and complicated illnesses.

If the development application for the clinic is successful, up to eight new doctors will be allocated to the facility, along with practice nurses, a physiotherapy and phycology unit and a pharmacy.

Residents near the Clarence/Fitzroy street site are opposing the decision to build the $5 million clinic in their neighbourhood.

Concerns of a ‘commercial enterprise in a residential area’, increase in traffic and noise levels and the type of services operating from the clinic have prompted residents to send out flyers urging people to object to the proposal.

Leta Muldoon said although she was not against the super clinic she was against the location.

“I have spoken to many people and they really don’t understand what the super clinic involves,” she said.

“I’m not against the clinic, just the location and I think it would be better suited near a hospital.” Ms Muldoon said her greatest concerns were the increased volume of traffic that the clinic would create in the area, the businesses trading hours and noise levels that would affect the immediate area.

In the proposal submitted to Clarence Valley Council, traffic access to the clinic will be from Clarence Street to reduce traffic congestion in Fitzroy Street.

Mr Bayley said although there would be increased traffic, it would be concentrated in Clarence Street and measures were in place to preserve the existing site.

The development application is expected to be on the agenda at the next council meeting held in March.

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