State-of-the-art medicine for pets

CLARENCE Valley pet owners will soon have access to a state-of-the-art animal hospital, thanks to the investment of a South Grafton couple.

Veterinarian Dr Chris Gough and his wife Amanda opened their South Grafton Veterinary Clinic in Through Street, South Grafton, in June 2005.

The business has grown to the point that Chris and Amanda have customers from as far as South Kempsey and Brisbane.

The couple has made moves to expand the practice, including two dedicated operating theatres, separate dog and cat kennels, upgraded facilities and even a lecture theatre to host talks for local interest groups, such as breeder groups or TAFE students.

The new practice, to be called Riverbank Veterinary Clinic, will be just up the road on Through Street at the former tyre centre.

Chris estimated the couple would invest between half a million and three-quarters of a million dollars in order to create a practice up to the standard of a specialist referral centre.

“At the moment you have to travel to Coffs Harbour or Tamworth for a specialist centre,” he said. “We're hoping to have specialists visit from Brisbane and Sydney.”

Over the past 12 months, the Goughs have bought the new building site, drawn up plans to convert the empty shell into a two-storey, purpose-built centre and had their development application approved by the Clarence Valley Council.

Now, they are just waiting on some final engineering plans before construction will begin in the next couple of months.

Amanda said they were using local building contractors and hoped to have the new centre operational by the end of the year. When the centre opens, she said they would 'absolutely' be looking to employ more people to cope with increased demand, including a vet and at least two veterinary nurses.

The animal hospital is one of several new developments in the South Grafton CBD, including a $1.3 million beautification project to Skinner Street.

Chris said South Grafton was a thriving precinct and that was the reason he and Amanda decided to leave Perth and invest in the area three and half years ago.

“It was the only area on the East Coast that ticked all the boxes for us,” he said.

“We're hoping to have specialists visit”

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