Gladstone's $3M mega-health hub held up by road upgrades

THE opening of a $3 million Gladstone Welfare Hub could be up to two years away, with the project being held up by a multi-million dollar road upgrade.

Last year, the Gladstone Foundation gave $3 million to the Salvation Army Gladstone branch to build a community hub to help Gladstone's most needy.

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Salvation Army Gladstone core officer Chris Ford said the road upgrades are needed to cope with the extra traffic the $3m communal centre will create.

"It's to make sure people can enter and leave the site safely which will include a set of traffic lights but that's all part of the council's plans," Gladstone Lieutenant Ford said.

Lt. Chris and Kay Ford.
Lt. Chris and Kay Ford. Mike Richards GLA161216SALVATION

"A dual carriage way and at the moment it's looking at two lanes all way through. It's more than just a hub, a hub is a small part of it."

Ltn Ford said the process includes a lot of legal processes before progress will be seen.

The hub aims to have every service in one place including mental health, food material support, domestic violence, youth services, child care services, financial budgeting, financial courses through money care programs and case management.

"With the foundation being part of Queensland government trustees there is a lot of red tape to go through," he said.

"There is so much involved in due diligence, it's a lengthy process,"

Busy Philips Street roundabout on the corner of Toolooa State High School. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer
Busy Philips Street roundabout on the corner of Toolooa State High School. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer Paul Braven GLA120216ROUND

Ltn Ford said it could be a year before we see any progress on the vacant block donated by the Gladstone Regional Council.

Gladstone Foundation chairman Tim Griffin said the duration of the process depends on how quickly information is provided.

"Obviously with such a large charitable investment of $3 million there are certain government processes to be followed," Mr Griffin said.

"We have to ensure we're getting value for money as well, it's the normal procedure for anywhere dealing with millions of dollars.

"No other recipient has had to wait."

Ltn Ford said the project is on track where he hopes to see movement later this year.

"Indications from the Gladstone Foundation are somewhere around six to ten months," he said.

"I would like to see something happening late this year, early next year."



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