Speaking about the project at today’s announcement, Acting South Gippsland Shire CEO Brian Sword said it could involve $20 million to $30 million in private sector and public sector investment, not only in the new supermarket but also in replacing the aging Korumburra community facilities.
South Gippsland Shire Council is expecting to receive a planning application for the project, to be located in the CBD block bounded by Commercial Street, King Street and Victoria Street, for the supermarket development at its council meeting next Wednesday.
It will be here that councillors will get a formal opportunity to question the developers although they have already received extensive briefings on the keenly awaited project.
Council described the proposal as a “rare opportunity to locate a new, larger full-line supermarket in the main street as identified through the Korumburra Town Centre Framework Plan that was generally supported by the community as part of a previous community consultation”.
Crucial to the success of the proposal is the development of a viable plan to first temporarily replace and then permanently relocate all of the existing community facilities elsewhere in the town; including a new library, community hub and gallery.
The Mayor Cr Ray Argento said today that the proposal was an exciting one but that it was important not only to consult with the community but also to come up with a viable plan for replacing and improving the existing community facilities.
“The proposal has been a long time coming for the Korumburra community and we expect the potential development to be exciting news for local residents,” he said today.
“Council looks forward to working with both the developer and the community in order to achieve an outcome that will benefit everyone and ensure the prosperity of the region.”
Strzelecki Ward Councillors Cr Lorraine Brunt, Cr Andrew McEwen and Cr Aaron Brown described it as a potential game-changer for Koriumburra one that would completely revitalise the main street, lead to a complete redevelopment of community facilities, deliver a full-service supermarket to the centre of town and add another 30 to 40 jobs.
Mr Sword said while there was a lot of consultation and assessment to go yet, he said if the project went ahead it would vindicate the council and community stance against allowing a supermarket to be built away from the CBD at the old Saleyards site.
No timeline has been agreed to but Mr Sword said the Leongatha Aldi supermarket gained council approval in 12 weeks, in the absence of any objections, but acknowledged that the Korumburra project was more complex with community facilities to be replaced.
He did, however, anticipate that work on the project could commence within 12 months if the process went well.