THE proposal by German-based Kaufland for a super store at Mornington remains up in the air despite the company being given the go ahead for stores at Dandenong, Chirnside Park and Epping.
The state government was last week boasting about attracting “one of the world’s largest retailers to Victoria in a move that will create more than 1500 jobs and inject almost half a billion dollars into the state’s economy”.
Mornington Peninsula Shire and a growing number of residents are objecting to Kaufland being allowed to build on the Bata shoe factory site in Nepean Highway.
Economic development minister Tim Pallas joined Kaufland Australia managing director Julia Kern on Friday (8 March) for the announcement at the site of the company’s Mickleham distribution centre.
Kaufland, which has more than 1230 stores and 150,000 employees across Europe, is said to be investing $459 million and creating 1600 jobs in establishing its stores and headquarters in Victoria.
Government spokesperson Crys Ja said a decision on the Mornington store – one of three that are the subject of an independent advisory committee planning process – “could still be months away”.
The mayor Cr David Gill says a Kaufland store in Mornington would have “major implications” for the town.
“The establishment of such a major retail site on industrial land outside the Mornington activity centre could have a major impact on the retail economy within the Mornington village and result in vacant shops along Main Street.
“Proper planning takes decades and one bad decision can ruin our strategy for shopping precincts overnight.”
Oakbank Road resident Janet Street – who lives near the proposed site – said the development included a 430 vehicle car park and 4000 square metre retail outlet “which will directly compete with established retailers in the shopping precinct”.
“A 20-metre sign will be the first thing people will see when driving into Mornington, the gateway to the Mornington Peninsula,” she said.
Mr Pallas said planning approval for the first three stores was “a huge notch on Victoria’s belt”.