DOCTOR WANTED: Posters on the empty shop in River St in Woodburn.
DOCTOR WANTED: Posters on the empty shop in River St in Woodburn. Susanna Freymark

'We'll do anything to get a doctor here'

BUSINESSMAN Glen Costello is prepared to offer his shop rent-free for three months to entice a doctor to Woodburn.

"My wife and I are hoping to draw a doctor away from the big smoke or even Lismore, Ballina or Tweed Heads to Woodburn," Mr Costello said.

They recently purchased retail space on River St and have started advertising on the front windows.

'Doctor Wanted. Need assistance to set up. Need a new start,' the posters read.

"We're prepared to allow a three month free rent period to allow time to set up a practice and to advertise in Woodburn and Coraki for new patients," Mr Costello said.

"I'll keep it empty as long as I can."

Woodburn has been without a doctor for the past five years, he said.

"Doctors in Evans Head are booked out and are not taking new patients and my wife and I have to travel to Ballina to see a doctor."

The couple recently bought acreage in New Italy and Mr Costello is concerned about the community when the highway bypasses Woodburn in 2020.

Even with the HealthOne build under way at Evans Head, Mr Costello said there may still not be enough doctors.

"We need a doctor," he said.

As the Ballina Business Chamber president and a Woodburn Business Chamber member, Mr Costello said he emailed Chris Gulaptis MP who said there wasn't a space for a doctor's surgery.

"There is now," Mr Costello said.

Any doctors out there call Glenn Costello on 0403 243 689.

CHAMBER EXECUTIVE: The Ballina Chamber of Commerce executive for the coming year is (from left) Irene Tory, Mark Turner, Amanda Edmonds, president Glenn Costello and Jennifer Plumb. Absent: Deb Grant and Michael Young.
The Ballina Chamber of Commerce president Glenn Costello is second from the right. Graham Broadhead