Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Passion in Gordonvale

Way down south in Gordonvale passions are still running hot on the Council's unanimous rejection of a Woolworths development application. Today's instalment is a call from Brett Moller for a convenience store small enough and far enough away (700m west of proposed site on west side of Hwy) not to be competitive with anything actually in Gordonvale.

"Mulgrave and District Chamber of Commerce president Brett Moller said there was a 1000 sq m site, owned by the CEC Group, that was appropriately zoned for a convenience store."

Simon Berger from Woolworths responded: "“Our supermarket is about 3000 sq m. This is about a third of the size, about the size of the existing IGA,”

Just last week the Productivity Commission released a weighty report on Planning, Zoning & Assessments. Within this overview of the report KS particularly notes:

"Competition restrictions in retail markets are evident in all states and territories. They
arise: from excessive and complex zoning; through taking inappropriate account of
impacts on established businesses when considering new competitor proposals; and by
enabling incumbent objectors to delay the operations of new developments".

The most infamous example some years ago was shopping centre giant Westfield setting up community action groups to oppose competing developments in Sydney. I can understand some community concern that growth in the southern corridor will have implications for the ambience of Gordonvale, however this may not be the strategy to protect that, and may even be counterproductive over time.

Brett Moller is a "quintessential country solicitor" who "holds interests in sugar cane farms in the Mulgrave Mill area south of Cairns and is Chairman of the Far North Queensland branch of Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland." He is also a director of Maryborough Sugar (MSF), now operator of Mulgrave Mill and the recently closed Babinda Mill.

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