Tony Wade, from the South Grafton Progress Association, wants the super clinic built on the south side.
Tony Wade, from the South Grafton Progress Association, wants the super clinic built on the south side.

South Grafton calls for clinic

LACK of emergency services on the south side of Grafton has the local progress association crying out to Clarence Valley Council for reconsideration of the medical super clinic site.

A representative of the South Grafton Progress Association, Tony Wade, told councillors at Tuesday night’s committee meeting that while the association was in favour of the super health clinic, it strongly recommended a site on the south side be considered in preference to the Grafton CBD.

Major roads, lack of medical facilities, previous flooding in the north side of Grafton and the growing population of south side were some of the issues Mr Wade brought to the meeting.

“We can’t see the logic building it where the developer wants to build it, especially when there are so many residents that are opposed to it,” he said.

“Grafton Bridge being the bottleneck that it is, if there is an accident on the bridge, God help anyone on the south side that is in urgent need of medical attention.

“We have all the well-known major roads, the airport, cattle saleyard, the very large and expanding industrial area, and therefore the potential for disaster on the south side is enormous.

“We can’t understand that if we are going to have what we believe to be a reasonably major second medical centre in Grafton why it shouldn’t be on the south side,” Mr Wade said.

The proposed development is expected to bring mental health, drug and alcohol services and Aboriginal welfare workers, all of which Mr Wade is convinced is needed in South Grafton.

“We have the number. The majority of people live on the south side of the river,” he said. “The only thing we don’t have on the south side is any serious emergency services.

“We believe that if this was done properly with a bit of thought and planning for the future that it could also incorporate a helipad for emergencies and a residential ambulance.”

Mayor Richie Williamson said despite concerns from the opposition to the site, councillors were looking at the development and issues raised with an open mind but could only consider the DA before them.

“There is a great community benefit from the super clinic proposal,” he said.

While Mayor Williamson said Mr Wade raised some points in his deputation to councillors, council could only consider the development application before it, which is for the super clinic site in Clarence Street.

“Councillors have not made up their mind, nor has the council, and we will continue to look at the issue with an open mind,” he said.

Councillors showed support for the officer’s recommendation, to approve the development subject to conditions, at the environment, economic and community committee meeting. The final decision for on the site in Clarence Street will be made at next week’s full council meeting.

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