Residents have praised the opening of the Bonny Hills pharmacy which they say will be of great benefit to the community.
The pharmacy officially opened to the public on Monday, May 13.
Bonny Hills resident Beryl Bohlsen said she has lived in the area since the 1980s and will now be able to walk to the pharmacy instead of driving to Lake Cathie.
Local resident and pharmacist Karen Rees-Pikett worked hard to obtain a pharmacy licence for the location at Jungarra Crescent.
She launched a petition in 2018 to appeal to the Minister of Health to overlook a pharmacy location rule and to instead take into consideration the needs of the community.
Karen's petition gained the support of nearly 3000 locals, Port Macquarie Hastings-Council Mayor Peta Pinson, Local Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams and Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie.
At the Bonny Hills pharmacy opening on Monday, May 13 Karen thanked the wider community for its support.
She said the pharmacy was built at the location in just three weeks, thanks to the dedication of local construction workers.
Dr Gillespie tabled Karen's petition in parliament in 2018 and entered discussions with the Minister for Health Greg Hunt to highlight recent population data, the demographics of population, and the growth forecasts for the next 15 to 20 years.
<p>Dr David Gillespie at the Bonny Hills pharmacy opening. <a href="https://t.co/W0eriFR70L">pic.twitter.com/W0eriFR70L</a></p>— CH Courier (@CHCourier) <a href="https://twitter.com/CHCourier/status/1127809718120935424?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 13, 2019</a>
The Port Macquarie-Hastings Council Urban Growth Management Strategy outlines the population of the Lake Cathie and Bonny Hills area is set to increase from 6,300 in 2016 to over 10,000 by 2036.
Dr Gillespie said the community of Bonny Hills will be able to access medical treatment in its entirety without leaving the suburb, which is a great relief for many elderly, sick and those with young infants.
"They will have primary care in their own backyard," he said.
Dr Gillespie said the pharmacy will provide access to Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme medicines, along with other essential services such as medication reviews, chronic disease services and compliance aids.
He said the Bonny Hills Shopping Centre will now contain the full medical centre and pharmacy, dentist, café, hair salon and children's clothing store.