THERE is no agreement between the South Gippsland Shire Council and the developer to buy the Korumburra Library and meeting rooms or the old kindergarten, to make way for a new, centrally-located supermarket.
But it’s still a live proposal.
That was the measured response by the South Gippsland Shire Mayor, Cr Ray Argento and Cr Lorraine Brunt, when they attended a meeting of the Korumburra Business Association last Wednesday night.
It was one of a number of issues raised in a wide-ranging Q&A session with Crs Argento, Aaron Brown and Brunt.
Others issues discussed included:
• The 80km/h restrictions on Korumburra-Wonthaggi Road
• Bringing forward the redevelopment of Korumburra’s Main Street
• Whether there was likely to be a development on the old saleyards’ site,
• Prospects for the extension of the rail trail from Leongatha to Korumburra, Loch and Nyora
• Support for Korumburra’s application to be an ‘RV Friendly Town’.
The need to bring forward the redevelopment of the main street, and not wait until 2020-21, was the most pressing issue for the local business people who attended the meeting but they were also interested in where the much-talked about supermarket project was at.
“The building here (where the KBA meeting was being held) is still before council,” Cr Argento said of the library, gallery and associated buildings on the corner of King and Commercial streets.
“It was submitted to us and they asked ‘are you interested?’ We said ‘yes’ we would consider it. It came to the previous council but there’s been no agreement,” Cr Brunt said.
“Is it making progress?” asked KBA president Noelene Cosson.
“Yes, it is,” said Cr Argento.
“It hasn’t gone stale, we can say that,” agreed Cr Brunt.
Asked about the old kindergarten, disused now that the Karmai Community Children’s Centre was operational, Cr Argento said “watch this space”.
But it was the redevelopment of Korumburra’s main street that was the key item raised.
Local businessman, Brian Hess, a member of both the KBA and the Korumburra Roundtable, said there was a compelling case for the project to be brought forward on the grounds of increasing traffic safety.
“Leongatha has already received its partial bypass and we have to put up with a lot of heavy traffic,” he said.
“One component of the streetscape plan is to control and slow the traffic. It’s a very important part of the plan. When is the next serious accident going to happen?” Mr Hess asked.
“I’m not going to stand up here and say we are going to move everyone else’s project out of the way and move yours forward,” Cr Argento said.
“I think there will be money set aside to do the design work,” Cr Brunt said.
“But we’ll need to be attracting grant money for this,” she said.
On other issues, Cr Argento said he had taken up the issue of the 80km/h restrictions on Korumburra-Wonthaggi Road and also another, even worse situation at Dumbalk, with the Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing, but was yet to receive a response.
He also said that council supported the extension of the rail trail and noted there was state government grant money for those sorts of projects, but first, a lease had to be agreed to with the owners of the rail reserve, VicTrack.
At the end of the meeting, Mrs Cosson thanked the councillors for attending, pledging to work constructively with the council to get things done for Korumburra.