Dubbo Residential Rehabilitation Centre consultation moves forward


The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) has completed a round of open forum community consultations in the development of the Dubbo Residential Rehabilitation Centre (DRRC).

Seven face-to-face and online sessions were held prior to Easter, giving neighbours of the Spears Drive location, the broader Dubbo community, healthcare providers, and members of the Aboriginal community an opportunity to engage with the project.

WNSWLHD Chief Executive Mark Spittal thanked community members who attended the sessions and provided their feedback, also reiterating the District’s commitment to continue working closely with key stakeholders as the project progresses.

“This is an incredibly important project for communities in the west of NSW, and there was certainly strong support for it reflected in these consultations,” Mr Spittal said.

“We know there will be a difference of opinion on aspects of the project, and the purpose of consultation is to make sure those views are heard and, wherever possible, addressed in how the project moves forward.

“A more detailed report of the consultations is being developed but, as an example, the discussions we had opened up opportunities for us to explore alternative access points for the site, which will eventually be a part of the planned north-west urban release area. That’s something we can explore with Council as we develop the concept plans.

“Bringing a development like this to fruition and making it a successful space for patients, staff and the community requires collaboration and input from a range of sources.

“There have already been several points of engagement with various interest groups and individuals, but these consultations were the first open invitation for collaboration.”

Mr Spittal said NSW Public Works are the project managers for the DRRC and will be using feedback received in these consultations to work with architects Fulton Trotter on concept designs.

“Those concept designs will form the basis of further consultations toward the middle of the year, before more detailed plans and specialist reports are submitted in a Development Application to the Dubbo Regional Council,” Mr Spittal said.

“The Council will then go through the usual process of exhibiting the DA and preparing the project for the Western Region Planning Panel. The Panel will have its own process for considering input from the community and will ultimately determine approval for the project.”

The consultations also provided the community with the key design concepts that the Centre will need to meet, including:

  • It will be single storey, with a residential character that is sympathetic to the existing streetscape
  • That the size of the Spears Drive site will be used to provide landscaping and design features to meet the needs of patients and staff, but also to provide privacy, sound buffering, and visual appeal
  • That the cultural needs of Aboriginal people will be incorporated into the use of the site, and the design of the facility
  • That the Centre be designed to provide detoxification and residential rehabilitation services for between 16 and 24 people, and that the Centre may be developed in stages.

A recording of the presentations from one the online consultation sessions is available on the www.urbantalk.com.au/projects/dubbo-aod where interested community members can also register to receive more information about the DRRC and future consultation opportunities.

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