Letter to the Editor

June 09, 2018

Facility should abide by rules

Brenda Semmens, Shepparton

As a local resident living near The Cottage on St Andrews Rd, I am offended and outraged by the comments of Dallas Terlich (News, June 8).

There is no argument from anyone in Shepparton that a facility like this is desperately needed, not just in Shepparton but in every metropolitan and regional town in Victoria.

The problem of drugs in our society is both costly emotionally and economically and yes we are morally obliged to help addicts who have chosen to get clean and return to us as valued members of society.

But you have no right to ‘‘just build’’ a drug rehabilitation centre in my neighbourhood and not tell me or give me the option to voice my opinion.

You have no right to come to my house in an attempt to convince me to support The Cottage, and then misrepresent my objection in the paper by saying that there was an overwhelming support for the project in the neighbourhood because the real truth is, that there is not.

As a ratepaying renovator in Shepparton I am bound by the local bylaws and building regulations.

A drug rehabilitation facility that was serious about being successful would have followed the processes and regulations just like every other business setting up in Shepparton.

It would also have chosen an acceptable site that would least impact local residents and businesses, instead of setting up operations and then playing on the public’s emotions if we object.

It would have also gone through the correct and ethical process of informing locals of what it was proposing and given residents or interested stakeholders the right to reply. The Cottage has chosen to skip the necessary processes and community information aspects of their operation because they fear the overwhelming rejection of the community.

There are rules and regulations put in place by society for a reason and no one has the right to ignore these rules to suit their own agenda.

The Cottage must obtain the correct permits and certificates to operate their facility and the public must have the chance to voice their opinions and concerns.

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