The founders of a proposed drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in Smeaton faced considerable community anger at a meeting on Tuesday night which aimed to address a number of concerns within the community.
Around 50 Smeaton locals attended the event at the Smeaton Bowls Club, where the founders of the Meadows Therapeutic Community tried to dispel some of the community’s concerns.
A number of queries were raised at the meeting, with locals complaining about a lack of community consultation from the group and council.
A number of questions were fielded about the safety of the neighbours of the proposed site at 3330 Creswick-Newstead Road, which is just outside of the Smeaton township.
Co-founder Stuart Fenton said many people were unaware of what a therapeutic community would actually look like.
“I think people are just angry and scared about what this potentially means.”
The application for the 10 patient facility was made earlier this year, and additional information was presented to the council over the past week as requested by the councils planning department.
Since the application was lodged at least 10 formal complaints have been filed about the proposal, which is currently scheduled to go before a council vote next February.
Hepburn Shire mayor Neil Newitt said while it was too early to say which way the council would ultimately vote, he was pleased to see the group speaking with the community.
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