A plan for the development of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in the heart of Wagga has sparked outrage from local residents.
The proposed Riverina Recovery House, a private, purpose-built treatment centre for people wanting to recover from alcohol and drug abuse, would take the place of Millies Guesthouse at 199 Gurwood Street.
It is the second time the rehabilitation facility has fallen under the ire of locals, after a plan for its development opposite Lake Albert Public School sparked fury in December last year, forcing local proponents Debbie and Garry Cox to search for a new location.
Nick King, who has lived on Gurwood Street for eight years, expressed his indignation over the application, saying such a development could pose potential dangers to the local community.
“They’re telling us safety won’t be an issue, but these people are unstable,” he said.
“If they relapse or are not monitored correctly, then who’s to say what kind of behaviour the public will be exposed to.”
Mr King said the proposed site was not even ideal for patients, as there were at least eight licensed venues within a 10 minute walking distance.
“There’s so much temptation around here with all the pubs and bars, so it could even be potentially dangerous for inhabitants,” he said.
“Someone coming off drugs and alcohol will experience withdrawals, and they shouldn’t even be near these kind of venues.”
The application states the facility would house up to 12 residents, who had subsequently undergone a detox treatment, where they would receive a range of healthy lifestyle-based treatments.
Riverina Recovery House proponent Debbie Cox said any safety concerns were unfounded, with residents monitored 24/7 and a zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol.
“This facility is purely and simply to help them stay off their addiction and integrate them back into society,” she said.
“It's not the first step of their rehabilitation, it’s the final phase."