Homemaker Cen­tre at study stage

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

The City of Kar­ratha’s pro­posal to fund $27 mil­lion to­wards get­ting the Gap Ridge Homemaker Cen­tre off the ground will go into a fea­si­bil­ity study stage only for the time be­ing af­ter it re­ceived 27 pub­lic sub­mis­sions against the pro­posal.

At a coun­cil meet­ing last week, coun­cil­lors car­ried a mo­tion by a 8-2 ma­jor­ity to pro­ceed with a $141,000 first-stage fea­si­bil­ity study into the “big box” LandCorp re­tail project, but to hold off on any fur­ther com­mit­ments for the time be­ing be­cause of con­cerned com­mu­nity sen­ti­ment.

The study is de­signed to pro­vide ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion around the project which, if it was to go ahead in its en­tirety, would be the largest non-cash in­vest­ment by the City in its his­tory.

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said the po­ten­tial ben­e­fits of the Homemaker Cen­tre busi­ness plan in­cluded higher financial re­turns on in­vest­ment than the City’s cur­rent regime, gen­er­at­ing jobs for res­i­dents and im­prov­ing lo­cal re­tail of­fer­ings, which were voted the third worst thing about liv­ing in the City in its lat­est An­nual Com­mu­nity Sur­vey.

How­ever, he said the coun­cil had taken note of pub­lic con­cerns and un­cer­tain­ties around the project in opt­ing to in­ves­ti­gate it fur­ther through a fea­si­bil­ity study.

“While there is po­ten­tial up­side to this pro­posal, there are still a large num­ber of un­knowns to be an­swered,” he said.

“Rather than com­mit­ting to the full pro­posal, the coun­cil has elected to do a de­tailed fea­si­bil­ity stage prior to de­ter­min­ing whether to pro­ceed with the de­vel­op­ment.

“This will in­volve de­mand anal­y­sis, de­tailed dis­cus­sions with pos­si­ble ten­ants, leas­ing and financial ar­range­ments, de­sign and de­tailed project cost­ings.”

Coun­cil opin­ion on the mo­tion was di­vided with coun­cil­lors Fiona White-Har­tig and Gary Bai­ley vot­ing against it.

The Homemaker Cen­tre fea­si­bil­ity study is ex­pected to take six to eight months.

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