Rehabilitation facility to support women given green light

A women-only residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in Mount Duneed is one step closer, after council considered an Independent Panel’s findings and adopted Amendment C401GGEE with some changes.

The amendment, which will be submitted to the Minister for Planning for approval, seeks to pave the way for the facility to be built on vacant Farming Zoned land at 120 Russells Road. Community Care Accommodation facilities such as this aren’t allowed to be built on Farming Zoned land, however this site isn’t used for farming and is surrounded by the Mount Duneed Recreation Reserve.

Not-for-profit organisation Foundation 61 plans to run the facility for up to eight women to live on-site, supported by five staff members. The facility would include several offices, a courtyard and gym, an arts and craft room and meeting room. Visiting hours would be limited to 1:00pm to 6:00pm on weekends.

An Independent Panel considered 38 submissions about the proposal: 31 objections, four offering support, two with no objections and one requesting changes. A petition against the proposal was also received.

Some of the issues raised by objectors included the appropriateness of the location, safety of nearby residents and users of the adjoining reserve, vegetation removal and traffic. Supporters of the amendment believed the facility would meet a local need and benefit the community, and that the site was an ideal location and would complement the men’s facility run in Mount Duneed by the same organisation.

The panel recommended the amendment be adopted with changes, finding it’s well founded and the semi-rural location is appropriate. The panel accepted that there’s an urgent and significant need in the Barwon Region for residential treatment facilities that are affordable, accessible, offer longer term programs and are dedicated to women.

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