Speeches

Update on Giralang Shops

May 09, 2017

Check against delivery

 

As residents in the Belconnen suburbs of Yerrabi and many of us in this Chamber will be aware, the number one issue in Giralang for many years has been the redevelopment of the local shops.

Over the last eleven years the redevelopment of the Giralang shops site has been held up by disputes over what the proposed redevelopment will include and ongoing legal proceedings that arose out of these disputes.

The legal proceedings were brought by the operators of three supermarkets in the surrounding suburbs of Kaleen and Evatt. At question was the size of the supermarket proposed in the development application for the Giralang redevelopment.

As you may expect with a case that has gone on for so long, the community has many views and opinions on what should happen. I have heard a range of these views, including:

“We need a supermarket and it needs to be 1,500 square metres”

“We need a supermarket and I don’t care what size it is”

“I don’t really mind about a supermarket but I’d love a cafe”

AND

“We just need something there that gives the community a place to come together”

But most often I hear - “We just want to know what is going on”

My reason for rising today is to put on the record for the residents of Giralang an update on where the redevelopment of the shops is up to.

In September 2016 and after countless appeal of appeal of appeal the parties to the legal proceedings, being the owner of the Giralang Shops site and the three surrounding supermarket operators who brought the court action, reached an out of court settlement.

With this settlement, the legal action that has prevented the re-development of the site for so long has ceased and the site owner is able to progress with the development.

Given the community’s desire to see the progression of the shops re-development, and the fact that the developer is responsible for undertaking this development, I recently sought a meeting with the site owner.

I called the meeting to put to the owner all the views the community had shared with me.

I told the owner of the site;

  • First and foremost Giralang residents want action on this development;
  • residents want the re-development to include a supermarket;
  • if the re-development can also include a cafe then that’s even better; and
  • Residents of Giralang want to be informed and included in what is happening as the development progresses.

Following my comments the owner assured me he is, and I quote, “re-energised and committed to seeing the re-development progress.”

I am glad the owner of the site wants to progress the re-development. But as I pointed out to the owner, while this sentiment is appreciated it needs to backed up with actions and I asked him what is he doing to progress the re-development.

The owner told me he needs to secure a supermarket tenant in order to begin the development. He said he is in talks with potential supermarkets operators and seeking to finalise a tenancy agreement.

He also told me a new development application for the re-development would have to be submitted and approved, and that once these two things were done the building works could begin.

Following these comments I requested that the owner work with the community as the re-development progresses, keeping them updated on his efforts to secure a tenant and the finalisation of the development application.

At the end of the meeting I reiterated to the owner of the site that the Giralang Community wants this development finalised.

As one resident put to me;

“When we do get the shops there is going to be one hell of a party on opening day”.