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Giralang supermarket decision to be challenged in the High Court

By 19 May 2014 13

The High Court of Australia has granted an alliance of north Canberra businesses leave to appeal from a decision of the ACT Court of Appeal last November which found that the group did not have standing to challenge the decision of ACT Planning Minister, Simon Corbell to approve a redevelopment of the Giralang Local Centre.

The approved redevelopment includes a large Woolworths supermarket which local businesses say is of a size that would normally be expected to be found in a Group Centre and not in a small local centre such as Giralang. Although an economic impact statement had been provided by the proponent to ACTPLA and the Minister, this was not made publicly available and local business proprietors say the likely economic impact of the new development will be much greater than predicted by the developer.

The Court of Appeal had found that the owners and operators of supermarkets in the nearby local centres of Kaleen and Evatt, who say they will be severely impacted by the new Woolworths Supermarket, could not challenge the Minister’s decision because only economic interests were affected.

The Court of Appeal’s decision has been challenged on the basis that the relevant legislation enables a ‘person aggrieved by’ or whose interests are ‘adversely affected’ by the Minister’s decision to seek judicial review of the decision. The local business owners argue that the Court of Appeal incorrectly applied a different test that denied them standing simply because only economic interests were affected by the decision.

The High Court today granted special leave to appeal from the Court of Appeal’s decision. The appeal is likely to be heard in August or September this year.

A spokesman for the local business owners, Alan Bradbury of Bradley Allen Love Lawyers, said that his clients were very pleased with the decision and were optimistic that, when the appeal is finally decided, the Court of Appeal’s decision would be overturned.

(Bradley Allen Love Media Release)

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13 Responses to Giralang supermarket decision to be challenged in the High Court
#1
Tetranitrate10:16 pm, 19 May 14

Meanwhile the site is still an utter disgrace -

http://imgur.com/a/Pt1Wc

#2
dkNigs12:11 am, 20 May 14

I lived in Giralang for 6 years and had no shops. Why? Because local shops in surrounding suburbs are greedy and think Giralang should be subjected to a decaying abandoned lot immediately in front of the primary school. Instead of local facilities.

Glad I moved so I can’t accidentally give these same scummy businesses my money.

#3
HiddenDragon11:00 am, 20 May 14

If that’s all that the case turns on, surely an adverse decision (for the ACT Government) from the High Court – should it go that way – will be easily remedied by amendment of the relevant legislation.

Still, the High Court has a history of providing surprises in its decisions on seemingly mundane cases – so there’s always the delicious possibility that the ACT Self Government Act will, along the way, be found to be unconstitutional…..

#4
lobster11:25 am, 20 May 14

They just have to put it off until Lawson shops exist – then argue there are too many shops.

As I have Said Before Shops Would Be Nice. But i will settle for anything. Shops, units, park land, a big car park, offices or any combination.
don’t leave it in limbo. Just do anything with it.

i also live across the road from the site.

#5
dtc12:26 pm, 20 May 14

HiddenDragon said :

If that’s all that the case turns on, surely an adverse decision (for the ACT Government) from the High Court – should it go that way – will be easily remedied by amendment of the relevant legislation.

Still, the High Court has a history of providing surprises in its decisions on seemingly mundane cases – so there’s always the delicious possibility that the ACT Self Government Act will, along the way, be found to be unconstitutional…..

Amending the legislation will probably only affect future cases, as the group has already challenged the decision. So if it had standing to challenge, then the challenge is valid from the date it was lodged ie prior to the change in legislation

Unless they make the change retrospective, which is possible but risky and a bit unecessary in the circumstances. Having standing doesnt mean the group wins, just that they get to make their argument.

#6
Genie2:16 pm, 20 May 14

dkNigs said :

I lived in Giralang for 6 years and had no shops. Why? Because local shops in surrounding suburbs are greedy and think Giralang should be subjected to a decaying abandoned lot immediately in front of the primary school. Instead of local facilities.

Glad I moved so I can’t accidentally give these same scummy businesses my money.

I agree !!! I lived in Giralang for almost 5 years and couldn’t understand why a certain local supermarket keeps insisting on blocking a chain supermarket being built there. I’m glad I just moved away. My local Woolies is tiny and I’d rather drive to the town centre a few more KM’s away, but at least it’s an option !

That certain local supermarket in Kaleen always has out of date food on their shelves, so why did they need to build only a few KM’s away in Giralang when as of today they have 2 stores in Kaleen and one in Crace. Why do they need a 4th within a 15km radius ?

I would have loved for Aldi or Coles/Woolies to have opened in Giralang. Much better opions !!

#7
Roundhead893:37 pm, 20 May 14

This is ridiculous. The local people want Woolworths, they don’t want tin-pot operators with plenty of money using the courts to stifle freedom of choice. This reminds me of the battle to build the Black Mountain Tower in the early 1970s. The PMG (a predecessor of Telstra) put forward the proposal but was frustrated by local groups challenging the ruling in the courts. The PMG won, the idiots appealed, the PMG won again, ad infinitum. When the idiots won again, the Minister for Communications sent the bulldozers in at 2AM the next morning, fences were put up and construction began. If it is at all possible, Woolworths should do the same in Giralang.

#8
screaming banshee6:14 pm, 20 May 14

Canberra has a pretty sh*te design, plain and simple. The biggest thing stifling suburban shops is that they are buried in the middle of suburbia rather than out on major roads. This single factor has seen the failure of many local shops as the trade is just not great enough to sustain a viable business. Under the parameters that have been established, it is unjust to allow a local centre, as giralang is defined, to have a large supermarket. If woolworths and the leaseholder were willing to put in a supermarket consistent with planning requirements there wouldn’t be an issue.

I see two ways we can go with this, first is to change our stupid planning laws and select more viable sites to position suburban shops, giving existing local shops first option to take up new sites.

Second is to terminate the lease of leaseholders that do not comply with the existing plans. It is widely known that the shops were forced to close to make way for a much more profitable unit development….it’s time that sort of action by developers is stopped.

#9
davo10110:20 am, 21 May 14

screaming banshee said :

Canberra has a pretty sh*te design, plain and simple.

Compared with no design in every other city in Australia.

#10
Sportsnut12:22 pm, 21 May 14

This is getting beyond a joke. I’ve lived in Giralang for over 5 years and watching absolutely nothing happen to the dilapidated, rat infested site of the old shops has become a sore point for me and the community I’m sure.

If oldmate from Supabarn wants to keep wasting his money challenging this in the courts, go ahead but in the meantime surely someone can at least take a bulldozer to the joint. It looks like a Walking Dead set in there and is only going to get worse the longer this continues.

There’s apparently some sort of “Concerned Citizens of Giralang” type group that occasionally letterbox bombs me with reasons why Woolies shouldn’t move into the suburb which points out that the site is right next to a school and the delivery trucks will run them over. Ummmm… If your kid is playing on the road at 5am when the delivery trucks arrive, they kinda had it coming.

#11
Tetranitrate5:23 pm, 21 May 14

Sportsnut said :

There’s apparently some sort of “Concerned Citizens of Giralang” type group that occasionally letterbox bombs me with reasons why Woolies shouldn’t move into the suburb which points out that the site is right next to a school and the delivery trucks will run them over. Ummmm… If your kid is playing on the road at 5am when the delivery trucks arrive, they kinda had it coming.

I’m pretty sure the “Concerned Citizens of Giralang” thing is just the Superbarn mob.
The actual group was called “Giralang Residents Action Group”
see:
http://the-riotact.com/dirty-tricks-against-giralang-shops-development/11651

#12
switch5:57 pm, 21 May 14

Tetranitrate said :

I’m pretty sure the “Concerned Citizens of Giralang” thing is just the Superbarn mob.
The actual group was called “Giralang Residents Action Group”

“We’re not the Judean People’s Front, we’re the Peoples Front of Judea!”

#13
Pork Hunt6:15 pm, 21 May 14

switch said :

Tetranitrate said :

I’m pretty sure the “Concerned Citizens of Giralang” thing is just the Superbarn mob.
The actual group was called “Giralang Residents Action Group”

“We’re not the Judean People’s Front, we’re the Peoples Front of Judea!”

Splitters!!!

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