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Redfern-Waterloo supermarket DAs approved

Two more supermarket DAs in the City of Sydney, this time in Redfern-Waterloo, were approved by Council this week. But while approval for a new ALDI was granted unanimously, the application for the fitout of the forthcoming IGA in Redfern encountered significant reservations from a number of councillors, and determined opposition from The Greens reports Shant Fabricatorian in City News on 5 November 2009.

As reported in City News last week, the Waterloo ALDI attracted the attention of Heffron state MP Kristina Keneally, who gave the proposal her emphatic support during discussion at Council committee meeting. At Monday’s Council meeting, approval for the development was granted unanimously.

It was in stark contrast to the DA for the new Redfern IGA on Chalmers Street, controversial due to its location on the ground floor of South Sydney Leagues Club, and thus its proximity to poker machines. Although the supermarket itself was approved earlier in the year, Monday’s motion dealt with concerns cited in the original proposal, including amelioration of traffic impacts and hours of operation.

But the two Greens councillors were unwilling to give ground. “Good faith has not been demonstrated with this DA,” said Councillor Chris Harris. “When we approved this supermarket, it was in response that we took on good faith, statements in the press, [from] two very influential people (Souths owners Peter Holmes à Court and Russell Crowe)…that they were going to do something different. On that basis, I very foolishly agreed to a supermarket – I’d never make that mistake again.”

Cr Harris also said he believed the possible volume of traffic had been underestimated.

Councillor John McInerney concurred with Cr Harris’ comments regarding the good faith of the club, but said he believed they could be trusted at this point in time, due to written commitments. He said he would closely study progress in bringing in a plan of management to remove the poker machines.

Labor Councillor Meredith Burgmann also cited ongoing concerns over traffic and poker machines, but said the revised DA had addressed many of the most egregious issues. She added she believed the club had acted in good faith and that it had not been their intention to mislead Council over the promise to remove pokies.