GRAG Media release
GRAG POSITION STATEMENT FOLLOWING THE SUPREME COURT APPEAL DECISION
Following the Supreme Court decision to dismiss the appeal about the approved 1500 m² Giralang shops development, and the reported withdrawal of Woolworths from the project, GRAG has adopted the following position.
GRAG continues to pursue its long-standing guiding objective of “a quality local shopping centre for Giralang".
GRAG continues to favour the already-approved 1500 m² supermarket development application.
GRAG encourages both the developer and the ACT government to actively approach Aldi and other possible supermarket service providers to take up the lease now vacated by Woolworths.
GRAG notes that it is well within the power of the Government to change the Territory Plan to make the lease more attractive to Aldi. This could include changing the supermarket size. However GRAG will oppose any unreasonable reduction in supermarket floor space from the previously approved 1500m2.
GRAG believes the Government could and should also develop a package of other civic and community investments in and near the Giralang site to increase foot traffic volumes and thus improve its commercial attractiveness to potential supermarket operators.
GRAG believes that for a Giralang shopping centre to remain viable in the long term, a mid-sized supermarket (at least) will be essential as an anchor tenant. The anchor tenant needs to be secured from the outset. GRAG is concerned that any smaller supermarket would not be able to compete with the recently opened Coles supermarket at nearby Kaleen. GRAG does not want a return to the position Giralang found itself in 10 years ago when the Giralang shops closed under pressure from the Kaleen shops.
GRAG urges the developer and the Government to urgently resume progress to deliver the long-promised quality local shopping centre for Giralang, including a substantial sized supermarket, and ancillary retail shops including a coffee shop, local restaurant, community and health service providers, and a package of civic and community amenities to assist the viability of the shopping centre as a whole.
Although GRAG is prepared to consider a limited number of well planned residential facilities on the site, GRAG wants to see the Giralang shopping centre restored to its original role of ‘community heart and meeting place’ for the suburb, not a medium density apartment development with a small number of incidental shops.
GRAG requests the Government to make an early public statement about its plans for action.
GRAG would also like to see statements from all parties and candidates at the 15 October ACT elections in relation to their plans to finally resolve the Giralang shops saga.
14 September 2016