The Local Health District (WNSWLHD) of Western New South Wales (NSW), Australia, has concluded a round of open forum community consultations to support the development of the Dubbo Residential Rehabilitation Centre (DRRC).

Held from 25 to 27 March, the consultations aimed to gather input on the design and operational plans for the new facility, which will offer support for individuals coping with alcohol and drug use issues.

Seven sessions were held both in-person and online with the aim to allow healthcare providers, local residents and members of the Aboriginal community to contribute to the project.

After receiving the input, WNSWLHD chief executive Mark Spittal reaffirmed the District’s commitment to ongoing collaboration with stakeholders and said the feedback will allow the assigned architects Fulton Trotter to finalise the DRRC concept designs.

The consultations highlighted the need for the centre to blend with the existing streetscape, maintaining a single-storey, residential character.

According to the feedback received, the DRRC design needs to incorporate features that support privacy, sound buffering and visual appeal for both patients and staff.

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In addition, the facility should integrate cultural considerations for Aboriginal people.

It was also noted that the centre should have the capacity to offer detoxification and residential rehabilitation services for 16-24 patients and may be developed in phases to meet these requirements.

Spittal said: “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.

“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 development application for the DRRC is currently in preparation and expected to be submitted to Dubbo Regional Council later this year.