Due to ongoing legal issues, the group behind a controversial drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre proposed for Meander has decided to abandon the site where it had planned to base the facility.
Faith-based organisation Teen Challenge Tasmania wants to establish a rehab centre for women. It was given planning approvals to do so at the site of the old Meander Primary School in 2016.
But the proposal proved divisive and put parts of the local community offside.
In other news:
Meander timber supply business Timber World took Teen Challenge and the Meander Valley Council to the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal, unsuccessfully arguing that the rehab facility would be located in a bushfire-prone area.
But the Supreme Court of Tasmania upheld an appeal against the RMPAT decision earlier this year.
And now, Teen Challenge has opted to turn its back on Meander Primary School and search for a new site.
It comes after the council held a closed meeting on Tuesday to discuss it and Teen Challenge’s situation.
“If we choose to continue … it is highly likely that the appellant, Timber World Pty Ltd, will continue their agenda to block and delay this much-needed service for Tasmanian women and their children for years to come,” Teen Challenge executive director Tanya Cavanagh said.
Meander Valley mayor Wayne Johnston confirmed that the council had reached a decision regarding its next course of action in relation to the proposed rehab centre but said that decision had not yet been made public.
Meander Area Ratepayers and Residents Association president Bodhi McSweeney said “everyone agrees” rehab services were desperately needed for women and children.
“But they need to be well-regulated, medically based programs – and Teen Challenge is not such a program,” she said. “Nor was the main street in the middle of a small town ever the right place for a rehab facility, no matter who runs it.”
Sign up to one of our newsletters: