BUILD AND THEY SURE WILL SHOP
Plans move ahead for Biloela Shoppingworld expansion
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.”
NEW DEVELOPMENT: An artist's impression of the proposed Biloela Shoppingworld expansion. INSET: The Biloela Shopping Centre as it stands today.