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Super battle over South Sydney supermarkets

Sydney Council is considering two proposed supermarkets which could bring an end to what many have said is a limited grocery choice in South Sydney reports Robert Burton-Bradley in Central on 28 October 2009.

Sydney Council has already knocked back several supermarkets in South Sydney arguing they would interfere with the planned supermarket at the Green Square residential development.

However two new proposals, an Aldi for Waterloo and an IGA in the South Sydney Leagues Club at Redfern are facing different hurdles.

Last week at a council committee meeting, Souths pledged to make the club pokie free if the IGA was approved. It was reported that club chairman Bill Alexion-Hucker made the pledge to sway concerned councillors to approve the supermarket.

“We will do everything in our power to come up with a plan to operate without poker machines,’’ he said. “Without this IGA, there is no redevelopment and if there is no redevelopment, there is no South Sydney Leagues Club in Redfern.”

A report by the council’s planning staff has recommended the supermarket be approved with hours of operation from 8am ‘til midnight.

But Trivest, the development company behind the Souths Club redevelopment, has stated that without the 7am trading time the supermarket would not be viable, which meant the whole club redevelopment would not go ahead.

Meanwhile, Waterloo residents are worried traffic issues could kill off a potential new Aldi supermarket in their suburb.

Resident Ross Smith has led a campaign to get the Aldi approved and criticised the council for suggesting there were traffic concerns.

“I really hope this gets approved. The Lord Mayor talked of traffic concerns at the meeting, but council’s own report recommended it be approved and said traffic was fine.”

Heffron MP Kristina Keneally, whose seat of includes Waterloo, was at the meeting to support residents and urged the council to approve the development and increase grocery choice in the area.

“I can’t imagine on what basis any councillor would seek to deny the residents of Waterloo and Redfern access to affordable food choices,” Ms Keneally said. “The Lord Mayor cited traffic concerns as a reason to defer the ALDI application, even though council officers had already reviewed the traffic study and recommended approval.”

A spokesperson for Cr Moore said there were a range of issues the council wanted examined. He said the planning development and transport committee, comprised of all councillors, referred the decision to the council meeting of November 2 without recommendation to get more information on range of issues, including traffic impacts.

Council will decide on the two proposals on November 2.

Photo: Ross Smith supports the Aldi application. Photo: Phil Rogers