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Sydney Council has approved an IGA super­market on the ground floor of South Sydney Leagues Club in Chalmers St at Redfern reports Kim Shaw in Central of 4 November 2009.

Greens councillor Irene Doutney has ex­pressed concerns about the possibility that the club might, at some time in the future, house poker machines.

Concerns were also raised by residents about traffic and the potential impacts on smaller lo­cal shops.

The supermarket had been given prior ap­proval by the council in 2007.

However, Greens councillor Chris Harris said he would rather the plans for a supermarket ended up in the Land and Environment Court than be approved by the council.

He said he held little trust in the people be­hind the application who, according to Cr Har­ris, had gone back on their word to run a "pok­ies-free" club.

Owners of the South Sydney Rabbitohs foot­ball club, Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes a Court, pledged to create a poker machine-free club when they took over in 2006, but club members later voted to re­move the ban.

"I agreed to a supermar­ket when two men bought out the club in good faith," Cr Harris said.

"Members then voted to allow poker machines. But do we know if poker ma­chine company representa­tives had any influence on that vote? We don't. This council put a lot of money into this club and they turned around and changed their minds a year later."

Club chairman Bill Alexion-Hucker told the council last month that the club would do everything in its power to operate without the need for poker machines. However, the su­permarket was vital to keep the development venture alive he said. Lord Mayor Clover Moore removed herself from the chamber during the debate and the vote: Peter Holmes a Court was a significant donor to Cr Moore's election cam­paign for her state seat of Sydney, contributing $8380 in 2006.

Cr John McInerney, a mem­ber of the Lord Mayor's team of independents, said he trusted the people behind the application.

"We have written expres­sion from people who purport to be outstand­ing in this community to bring in a plan of management to remove poker machines. I look forward to that," Cr McInerney said.

Labor councillor Meredith Burgmann share Cr Doutney's concerns about the proximity the supermarket to a potential poker machine room, yet said South's survival was important "I think they were always talking to us in goo faith," Cr Burgmann said.

Cr Doutney said a petition against the super market with 1600 signatures lodged earlier the DA process had been "misplaced".

Cr Doutney estimated 22 truck movements day for 11 hours and said locals held fears fo children in the playground nearby.

She said there had been no economic impact assessment. The council's director of city planning, Graham Jahn, said everything to ameliorate the impact of the proposal on the local amenity had been made.

Heffron MP Kristina Keneally had previously urged the council to allow more supermarket in the area to increase grocery shopping choice for residents. The supermarket will operate from 7am to 10pm.