THE development plans for the highly anticipated Allora Medical Practice Building have been given the final tick of approval by the Southern Downs Regional Council.
"We have crossed all the hurdles and can now address the needs of the Allora community," Councillor Glyn Rees said.
"The preliminary work was sometimes frustrating but mostly rewarding."
The need for a new medical centre was first highlighted in 2010 when 600 residents crammed into the town hall to discuss the doctor shortage.
Chairman of the Allora Medical Support Group John Constable said it was exciting news.
"It was slow progress but we had to follow all the procedures," he said.
"It's all happening now."
Mr Constable said the new centre would be a great benefit to the community.
"The doctors are committed to training student doctors which is really important," he said. It will also provide access to other allied health areas including physios and podiatrists.
"Part of the Federal Government funding means we will get a lot of modern medical equipment as well."
Cr Rees said it he was impressed with the community spirit showed by the town.
"In times of difficulty rural communities pull together and Allora worked exceptionally well," he said.
"The large majority banded together for fundraising efforts.
"The street was abuzz with people willing to help.
"After their efforts they deserve a first-rate medical centre."
Mr Constable said the community had raised in excess of $120,000.
"There are too many names to mention," he said.
Mr Constable did wish to give a special mention to Andrew and Julie Accason though.
"Andrew and Julie Accason have agreed to sell part of their property at 43 Herbert St to the Allora Medical Support Group to provide the land for the new facility," he said.
"The land will be surveyed in the near future which will allow us to call for tenders for the project in early 2013.
"Funding for the project has been secured, from the estate of the late Mr Edward "Eddie" Hahn, through many community projects and donations and through the Federal Government NRRHIP funding program.
Cr Rees said the medical centre would not just be used by Allora residents.
"Allora medical centre will have a much wider scope and be used by people in surrounding country areas," he said.
"It will also enhance the opportunities in town."
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