BUILD AND THEY SURE WILL SHOP

Plans move ahead for Biloela Shoppingworld ex­pan­sion

Central Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - Zhanae Con­way-Dodd Zhanae.Con­way-Dodd@cap­news.com.au

BILOELA’S Shop­ping world ex­pan­sion has been the topic on the lips of Banana Shire lo­cals for years but spec­u­la­tion con­tin­ues to build around which re­tail­ers will move into the cen­tre with plans still to be con­firmed.

Ini­tial plans for the cen­tre were re­leased in Septem­ber 2012, the same year the McCon­aghy Group lodged an ap­pli­ca­tion to close a sec­tion of Cal­lide St, from the Daw­son Hwy to Bar­rett St.

How­ever it wasn’t un­til July last year that works be­gan on re­lo­cat­ing the in­for­ma­tion cen­tre in or­der to close the de­sired sec­tion of Cal­lide St.

Mov­ing the in­for­ma­tion cen­tre needed to hap­pen be­fore the McCon­aghy Group could buy the land re­quired for the ex­pan­sion.

McCon­aghy Group’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Robert McCon­aghy (inset photo) re­vealed that for the last 15 years he and the com­pany had been ne­go­ti­at­ing with dif­fer­ent lev­els gov­ern­ment to pur­chase the ex­pan­sion site (across Cal­lide Street to the high­way).

In 2017 and 2018 the group made a fur­ther in­vest­ment in build­ing the road­works, new tourist in­for­ma­tion cen­tre, new and re­lo­cated memo­ri­als, new RV carpark and in­fra­struc­ture works in or­der to fa­cil­i­tate the new shop­ping cen­tre ex­pan­sion site and ful­fil the Coun­cil’s de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion re­quire­ments.

The Group said the works re­quired to en­able the land trans­fer were now com­plete and ex­pected the fi­nal ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­cesses of gov­ern­ment to be com­pleted shortly.

The process has taken per­se­ver­ance, but the McCon­aghy Group is ex­cited at the op­por­tu­nity to fur­ther de­velop the shop­ping cen­tre on what will be an “ex­cel­lent lo­ca­tion” on the in­ter­sec­tion of Bur­nett and Daw­son High­ways.

Mr McCon­agy said the Biloela Shoppingworld ex­pan­sion plans in­cluded a sec­ond ma­jor trader, a larger Wool­worths supermarket, a dis­count petrol out­let, an en­hanced food court, a pro­posed fast food restau­rant, ad­di­tional spe­cial­ity stores and base­ment car park­ing for 300 ve­hi­cles.

Ini­tial plans re­leased back in Septem­ber 2012 in­cluded a pro­posed Mc­Don­ald’s restau­rant with com­mu­nity spec­u­la­tion sug­gest­ing Kmart or BigW will be the next ma­jor re­tail­ers to call Biloela home.

How­ever spe­cific names of ad­di­tional re­tail­ers have not yet been re­leased and de­tailed plan­ning and ne­go­ti­a­tions for the new cen­tre can only com­mence once the Group has pos­ses­sion of the land.

The McCon­aghy Group has a long his­tory with Biloela, first in­vest­ing back in 1981 and has main­tained its com­mit­ment to the re­gion for the last 37 years.

The Group in­vested fur­ther in 1984 ex­tend­ing what was a rapidly grow­ing Wool­worths supermarket.

Ad­di­tional in­vest­ment oc­curred around 2000 to de­liver the cen­tre roughly as it is to­day.

Mr McCon­aghy said, de­spite the highs and lows of the last 37 years, the group had al­ways be­lieved in Biloela and re­mained op­ti­mistic about its fu­ture.

“There is con­sid­er­able shop­ping be­ing done out of town in Rock­hamp­ton and Glad­stone,” Mr McCon­aghy said.

“We want to give lo­cals ev­ery rea­son to shop in Biloela and sup­port lo­cal jobs.

“This would be our fourth ex­ten­sion or re­de­vel­op­ment and rep­re­sents a fur­ther sub­stan­tial in­vest­ment in the com­mu­nity.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

NEW DE­VEL­OP­MENT: An artist's im­pres­sion of the pro­posed Biloela Shoppingworld ex­pan­sion. INSET: The Biloela Shop­ping Cen­tre as it stands to­day.

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