Plans to expand despite falling Kambah population
New master plan ... Kambah shopping village will be expanding its supermarket. Photo: Jay Cronan
A new masterplan paves the way for Woolworths to expand in Tuggeranong, where population numbers have dived more than anywhere else in the territory.
The ACT government says expanding Woolworths should help revive Kambah’s group shopping centre.
But a neighbouring supermarket says little shops will go broke. A planning consultant says adding more retail space in unwarranted.
Woolworths at Kambah Village will expand from 1611 square metres to 2500 square metres under the plan. (The supermarket competition policy defines a large format or full-line supermarket is generally more than 2500 square metres. A convenience supermarket is less than 1500 square metres.)
Kambah IGA owner Harry Iacovou says Woolworths will have an unfair advantage and make it impossible for him to compete.
Mr Iacovou, who has traded in his 480 square metre shop for four years, says if it were not for his son’s help, he couldn’t continue trading.
‘‘I can see in five years time little shops are not going to make it.’’
He said major supermarkets could cope with industrial relations laws better than small operators, who could not afford high penalty rates for staff.
Mr Iacovou said if he were to close his business, a lot of people in the neighbourhood would not have the convenience of walking to the shops for their Sunday newspapers.
Consultants Don Fox Planning, in a submission to the draft Kambah masterplan, said additional residential development near Kambah Village was welcome, but more supermarket floor space was unwarranted.
The masterplan says Kambah’s population in 1991 was 18,400. By 2006 it had fallen to 16,100 and is projected to fall to 14,250 by 2021.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data to June last year shows the territory’s biggest population decline was in Kambah, which dropped by 1100 people.
The masterplan says the decline is significant.
Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate spokesman Ben Ponton said aside from the extended Woolworths the masterplan also provided for other retail space of 1500 square metres, not specifically for supermarket use.
‘‘We had a fairly extensive analysis for expenditure within the catchment, not only around Kambah, Erindale and Tuggeranong, but the broader catchment as well.
‘‘But a background study identified there was sufficient expenditure for that level of additional retail.’’
He said the analysis did not indicate smaller shops would close.
The masterplan outlines an extension of Kett Street to Drakeford Drive to provide better access south of the shopping centre and 65 extra car parking spaces in and around the Kambah Village centre.