GRANTVILLE residents have been waiting up to 30 years for a supermarket to be built in their town, but now they’ve had enough and they’re taking their battle right to the supermarkets themselves.
Cheryl Ward created a Facebook group in February last year to bring together discussions around the need for a supermarket in the area.
By the end of February, she had about 50 members.
But things quickly escalated in November when Grantville resident Kylie Slink created a survey to understand the supermarket habits of locals, with the idea of then passing the information onto to council, investors and supermarket chains.
“Some residents have waited up to 30 years with lots of false promises and finger-pointing that it was council’s fault or landowners’ fault.
“A lot of residents were disheartened,” Ms Slink said.
“I started the survey to find out where people shopped and I was quite surprised by some of the responses.”
Ms Slink discovered during the busy summer months, locals would drive to supermarkets in Koo Wee Rup, Korumburra and Lang Lang to shop.
In December, Ms Slink organised a meeting with Bass MP Brian Paynter, Cr Geoff Ellis, Cr Clare Le Serve and staff from Bass Coast Shire Council’s planning department.
“At that stage we had 399 responses, which in retrospect is not a great deal of people for Coles or Woolworths to even look at us, but I just wanted to let them know that people are filling out the surveys.
“More than 4000 cars pass through Grantville every day. I think they (council) said there is more than a million per annum. We are the gateway to the Island and Inverloch for any of the Melbourne traffic.
“Honestly, I think if we can find an IGA or similar that would be the perfect store. The money goes back into the community and they source local produce.”
Local businesses have also been helping the push for a supermarket, with many having copies of the survey in-store. To fill out the survey, go to www.surveymonkey.com/r/RNB267S.
“There’s a lot of behind the scenes action. Residents are being encouraged to continue filling out the survey, which currently stands at 731 completed,” Ms Slink said.
The responses from major grocery chains have been mixed, but Ms Slink is remaining optimistic that the Waterline area will get a supermarket within the next five years.
“It’s a beautiful part of the world,” she said.
Council’s acting general manager of sustainable development and growth, Peter Francis, said council has followed up some leads Ms Slink generated about prospective supermarket operators in Grantville.
“Any decision to build and operate a supermarket in Grantville rests with the developer and is driven by their return on investment, which is based on the population of the catchment and through traffic.
“Council officers will continue to canvass interest from potential investors and work with anyone who express interest in developing a supermarket in Grantville, to follow the usual planning approvals process.”