MOVING AHEAD: The site on Bargara Rd where plans are progressing to build a new medical practice.
MOVING AHEAD: The site on Bargara Rd where plans are progressing to build a new medical practice. Paul Donaldson BUN070217MED1

Hopes new medical centre will open this year

PLANS to build a purpose-built general practise medical centre on Bargara Rd are progressing, with the owners hopeful it will be ready to open by October.

Bargara's Grace Family Practice & Skin Care owner Dr Preshy Varghese said they hoped to have the centre completed by the time their lease expired at Bargara Central, but they had a back-up plan in place in the event that it didn't eventuate in time.

"In April we'll be opening a general practise at 16 Princess St, where our skin and vein centre is, so we would be able to move our doctors to Princess St from Bargara until the project is finished,” he said.

Plans for the centre at 611 Bargara Rd were temporarily halted last year when the development was blocked by Stockwells, the owners of Bargara Central, after the application initially gained approval from Bundaberg Regional Council.

Landing in the Planning and Environmental Court, negotiations between the parties saw Dr Varghese agree to build a general practice for the doctors and students doctors only, rather than the originally planned allied health precinct, which would have included a chemist and specialist clinic.

Given changes were necessary to comply with the negotiation order, the revised plans are still being finalised, with road access issues also being worked through.

But Dr Varghese hopes they will be ready to start construction as early as this month, which would see the project completed before October.

"We're hoping work can begin in February or March and be ready by September for our doctors to move into the new premise,” he said.

In the event that Bargara patients do need to travel to East Bundaberg for appointments for a short period, a Duffy's Buses spokesman confirmed they would transport passengers from Bargara to the East side practice, but first needed to finalise the temporary route amendment with Queensland Transport, those discussions are underway.



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