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Gungahlin Community Council goes into bat for Magnet Mart

By 13 March 2013 24

The GCC is kicking up a fuss over the Stalinist command and control based land planning in the ACT which is going to plonk a Bunnings down next to the Magnet Mart.

The Gungahlin Community Council meeting on Wednesday 13 March will hear a presentation on pre Development Application consultation relating to the proposed development of a Bunnings Warehouse on the hitherto ‘abandoned’ site opposite the Gungahlin College.

The location is Block 1 Section 4 bounded by Anthony Rolfe Avenue, Gribble Street, Hibberson Street & Franz Bormann Close – immediately adjoining the Magnet Mart carpark.

This site was excavated many years ago in anticipation of a bulky goods development taking place. Inaction has resulted in the site being an eyesore for a considerable period of time. GCC has commented that progress on commencing much needed development is extremely slow in the Town Centre.

Over the past several years significant consultation has taken place about the need for improved public transport facilities in Gungahlin. Gribble Street has been ‘earmarked’ for a major transit hub – the likely terminus of the Light Rail service, the interchange for new rapid bus services between Belconnen & Gungahlin & the provision of bike storage facilities to encourage greater patronage of Bike’n’Ride services. The proposed location of enlarged Park’n’Ride facilities within 1 block was predicated on the basis of the transit hub being developed & expanded.

GCC is still ‘peeved’ that a reason for not locating the new Northside sub-acute hospital in Gungahlin was that the land in & around the Town Centre was too valuable for low level developments.

Yet the planners continue to limit developments to a maximum of 4 storeys/levels & continue to ‘approve’ low level developments. GCC wants to see a mix of densification (in the Town Centre) & low-level residential development (suburbs) to add to the appeal of Gungahlin as a liveable area.

If all available land is sold off for low level development it is unlikely that sufficient critical mass will eventuate in the Town Centre to attract all the services & amenities needed by a population base rapidly heading towards 50,000 with the potential to reach 100,000.

GCC wants to see a review of any Gungahlin Master Plan or precinct plan to ensure that the current situation does not get any worse. There is a growing chorus of complaints from residents about poor or apparent lack of planning, not only in the Town Centre but in many Gungahlin suburbs.

Longer term planning suggests that the proposed bulky goods site would be more effectively used as a modern transit hub complete with more commercial & entertainment facilities. Adequate vacant land suitable for another large hardware store exists close to Mitchell.

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24 Responses to Gungahlin Community Council goes into bat for Magnet Mart
#1
b211:17 am, 13 Mar 13

Magnet Mart is owned by the Danks Group and is about to rebranded as Home Hardware. The Danks group is owned by Woolworths. Coles owns Bunnings, so it will be the perfect battle.

#2
c_c™11:35 am, 13 Mar 13

b2 said :

Magnet Mart is owned by the Danks Group and is about to as Home Hardware. The Danks group is owned by Woolworths. Coles owns Bunnings, so it will be the perfect battle.

Danks is owned by both Woolworths and the US Lowes Hardware chain, so they potentially have more muscle behind them.

Funny thing is despite the muscle, I recently had to buy paint samples. Masters was $5 more expensive than sister store Magnet Mart at Gunghalin.

You would have to be an idiot to shop at Masters. Little bit of competition will hopefully keep Magnet Mart competitive.

Will be interesting to see if the rebranding hurts them, remember when they ditched the bald guy for the ranger and the new theme song – it backfired badly.

#3
c_c™11:35 am, 13 Mar 13

*ranga

#4
c_c™11:39 am, 13 Mar 13

b2 said :

Magnet Mart is owned by the Danks Group and is about to rebranded as Home Hardware. The Danks group is owned by Woolworths. Coles owns Bunnings, so it will be the perfect battle.

Read the DA, and you’re half right. Magnet Mart name is being retained, but will be co branded as Home – resulting in the elongated name ‘Magnet Mart Home Timber and Hardware’.

So I guess they learnt from last time and want to retain the brand loyalty while achieving better scales of economy.

#5
peitab11:40 am, 13 Mar 13

b2 said :

Magnet Mart is owned by the Danks Group and is about to rebranded as Home Hardware. The Danks group is owned by Woolworths. Coles owns Bunnings, so it will be the perfect battle.

Really? I didn’t know that. I’ll stop going out of my way to patronise Magnet Mart instead of Bunnings now that I know it’s owned by one of the evil two.

Also, before knowing that Magnet Mart was owned by Woolies, I was outraged that Bunnings could be opening up down the street from it. Now I couldn’t care less.

#6
Duffbowl11:56 am, 13 Mar 13

Quick and minor correction. Bunnings is owned by Wesfarmers, who also own Coles. Same shite, same bucket, different blender.

#7
puggy12:01 pm, 13 Mar 13

peitab said :

Also, before knowing that Magnet Mart was owned by Woolies, I was outraged that Bunnings could be opening up down the street from it. Now I couldn’t care less.

If you live in the area you should care. It’s a complete waste of town centre land and is yet another example of the ACT Government’s preference for “money talks” urban planning. There is nowhere in Canberra where there is a Magnet Mart/Home right next to a Bunnings. Two giant sheds don’t need to be right next to each other to provide competition. I leave most of my major hardware purchases for trips to Belco or Fyshwick. It’s not that far to travel. In any case, why can’t Bunnings do something with their trade only site in Mitchell, or something anywhere else in Mitchell for that matter.

In a few years, the last of Gungahlin’s suburbs would have begun construction, and we still have a piddling amount of jobs located in the town centre. We need office space and other urban amenities.

Another lovely “money talks” example is the block for tender on, I think, Hinder and Efkarpidis. It’s specifically for a “drinking establishment”. A whole block of land for a drinking establishment means one thing: yet another pokie filled club.

#8
EvanJames12:08 pm, 13 Mar 13

b2 said :

Magnet Mart is owned by the Danks Group and is about to be rebranded as Home Hardware.

That explains why they’ve arranged a Home Hardware banner around the Magnet Mart sign over the Qbn store. Interesting. Are they the ones who have those fake dogs in their ad?

#9
artuoui12:15 pm, 13 Mar 13

peitab said :

Also, before knowing that Magnet Mart was owned by Woolies, I was outraged that Bunnings could be opening up down the street from it. Now I couldn’t care less.

Except that it comes back to the GCC’s original complaint about lobbing another huge shed and carpark development in the Gungahlin town center – which will work against the centre reaching a critical mass of commercial activity and population density to sustain itself while generating an increase in car traffic through the place.

#10
Gungahlin Al12:38 pm, 13 Mar 13

On the issue, there was a good plan submitted and I believe approved for this block of land some 3 years ago. It retained the master plan-desired streetscape, recognising that this is the main street of the town, and opposite the new library and college.

To plonk a giant Bunnings barn the likes of the one at Fyshwick on that block would be an atrocious outcome for Hibberson Street. I don’t see how it could possibly satisfy the Territory Plan requirements. You might as well stick one on London Circuit while you’re at it for the same outcome.

Gungahlin needs homewares stores not more hardware, rather than everyone beating a path to Fyshwick every weekend when they’re building.

#11
Holden Caulfield1:04 pm, 13 Mar 13

Gungahlin Al said :

Gungahlin needs homewares stores not more hardware…

Was the same argument used prior to Coles opening?

I haven’t lived in Gungahlin for quite a few years now, but if not Magnet Mart aren’t the closest available choices Bunnings, in Belconnen or Fyshwick, or Masters at the airport?

Can’t see how having another hardware store in Gungahlin is a bad thing, I wouldn’t be too fussed regarding its location, put it where best makes sense.

#12
p11:12 pm, 13 Mar 13

+1 for I can’t believe that would put two ultra large hardware stores right next to each other. Idiots.

#13
dpm2:01 pm, 13 Mar 13

p1 said :

+1 for I can’t believe that would put two ultra large hardware stores right next to each other. Idiots.

Money talks, apparently….

#14
Holden Caulfield3:19 pm, 13 Mar 13

p1 said :

+1 for I can’t believe that would put two ultra large hardware stores right next to each other. Idiots.

Okay, what am I missing here?

It’s okay for car yards to all be in a line. And for supermarkets to be next door, or very close, to each other.

But not hardware stores, apparently.

#15
Keijidosha3:36 pm, 13 Mar 13

An interesting tidbit of information is that prior to being bought out by Danks/Woolworths/Lowes, Magnet Mart had planned to open a warehouse store on vacant land opposite Bunnings in Tuggeranong. Had it played out I wonder if this scenario would have drawn such ire?

#16
wrigbe3:43 pm, 13 Mar 13

The reason the GCC doesn’t want Bunnings there is not so much about whether or not we should have a second hardware store in Gungahlin so much as the fact that this is a valuable central site. The community is still lacking any number of services and businesses more useful to the community and it is lacking big employers. Handing the site over to Bunnings just because they are prepared to pay a lot of money for it is very poor planning. In fact it is not about planning at all. Give us a better transport, a government department, a cinema/ entertainment venue, or, you know, A HOSPITAL!

#17
puggy4:39 pm, 13 Mar 13

Holden Caulfield said :

Okay, what am I missing here?

You’re missing a bit. First, it’s more the location that is the problem. Gungahlin will be the size of Belconnen by the time it’s finished, possibly bigger and it’s akin to plonking a Masters on the site of the Immigration building in Belconnen. More offices, services, recreation opportunities, less giant prefab shed.

Second, while there is nothing wrong with putting two hardware stores next to each other, it doesn’t happen anywhere else in Canberra. The car yard comparison isn’t completely valid either, since generally, different car yards will specialise in different marques. Giant hardware stores stock the same stuff. Two smaller, more specialised, hardware/tool stores would be OK as well in my view.

Third, Gungahlin’s equivalent of Belco’s Bunnings area and Woden’s Phillip is Mitchell. They are welcome to build something in Mitchell and leave a prime site, next to the school and library, alone.

#18
Holden Caulfield10:01 pm, 13 Mar 13

puggy said :

You’re missing a bit.

Really?

I said: “Can’t see how having another hardware store in Gungahlin is a bad thing, I wouldn’t be too fussed regarding its location, put it where best makes sense.”

So, to be clear, it’s only the location that people are objecting to.

Although, given the Bunnings is proposed to be right next door to the existing Magnet Mart store your Immigration comment is a little odd, but never mind. What’s next to Immigration? More office buildings. What’s next to Bunnings Belconnen, tyre shops, car yards and petrol stations, y’know, just like in Gungahlin. Actually, the same stuff that’s over the road from the DIAC car park. Remind me again why this is such a bad idea, apart from the fact you don’t like it because it’s not an office development?

I get that offices are needed in Gungahlin, but unfortunately history in Canberra shows you have to be patient. When I first lived in Gungahlin, in 1998 almost 10 years after Palmerston was built, there was no town centre. The only shops were Palmerston and Ngunnawal. When I moved out in mid-2004 there was still no Coles, Big W etc and the petrol station had just opened from memory.

How long did it take for Tuggeranong to get any office buildings?

But stick the Bunnings in Mitchell if it makes everyone happy, it’d certainly be closer for me in the inner north. Actually, I’d love a hardware store in the city or Braddon, like the old days, so maybe I should kick up a fuss too and see how I go.

#19
damien haas11:18 pm, 13 Mar 13

I went to the GCC forum tonight and this is a giant building.

The proposal is for street frontage on Hibberson St ground level to have 5 or 6 non-Bunnings retail spaces, with the bulk of the area behind it as parking. On the first floor of this giant building will be a Bunnings.

Why we need two places to buy nails and hammers from adjacent to each other, when Gungahlin lacks several other types of facilities, i dont know.

As long as the proposal meets the guidelines I say let it proceed and let capitalism and the guided free market we enjoy in Oz, prevail.

#20
dpm7:16 am, 14 Mar 13

damien haas said :

I went to the GCC forum tonight and this is a giant building.

The proposal is for street frontage on Hibberson St ground level to have 5 or 6 non-Bunnings retail spaces, with the bulk of the area behind it as parking. On the first floor of this giant building will be a Bunnings.

Why we need two places to buy nails and hammers from adjacent to each other, when Gungahlin lacks several other types of facilities, i dont know.

As long as the proposal meets the guidelines I say let it proceed and let capitalism and the guided free market we enjoy in Oz, prevail.

Seems strange to have a Bunnings on a first floor. They have quite a lot of heavy stuff so the load would be quite large? Then, they’d need freight elevators or some such to let people trolley stuff down?

#21
JC7:19 am, 14 Mar 13

peitab said :

b2 said :

Magnet Mart is owned by the Danks Group and is about to rebranded as Home Hardware. The Danks group is owned by Woolworths. Coles owns Bunnings, so it will be the perfect battle.

Really? I didn’t know that. I’ll stop going out of my way to patronise Magnet Mart instead of Bunnings now that I know it’s owned by one of the evil two.

Also, before knowing that Magnet Mart was owned by Woolies, I was outraged that Bunnings could be opening up down the street from it. Now I couldn’t care less.

Danks brought Magnet Mart in 2010, so you must have been behind the mountain and clearly supporting Woolworths all this time without even knowing it.

#22
JC7:22 am, 14 Mar 13

EvanJames said :

b2 said :

Magnet Mart is owned by the Danks Group and is about to be rebranded as Home Hardware.

That explains why they’ve arranged a Home Hardware banner around the Magnet Mart sign over the Qbn store. Interesting. Are they the ones who have those fake dogs in their ad?

They used to have dogs and their famous Dogalogues.They dropped that from their advertising recently and are now ‘where the tradies shop” or something like that.

#23
puggy10:29 am, 14 Mar 13

Holden Caulfield said :

So, to be clear, it’s only the location that people are objecting to.

Pretty much that’s my only objection. I would rather a Bunnings to be frank.

Holden Caulfield said :

Although, given the Bunnings is proposed to be right next door to the existing Magnet Mart store your Immigration comment is a little odd, but never mind. What’s next to Immigration? More office buildings. What’s next to Bunnings Belconnen, tyre shops, car yards and petrol stations, y’know, just like in Gungahlin. Actually, the same stuff that’s over the road from the DIAC car park.

What I meant by the DIAC building comment is that DIAC is right next to the mall, the focal point of the town centre. Bunnings in Belco is not right next to the mall and in fact was built on land that probably wouldn’t have been good for much else. This site in Gungahlin is on Hibberson, would put a Bunnings right next to the “mall”, so to speak. I could also argue about the equivalence of that little loop in Gungahlin with it’s one tyre shop, one service centre and two petrol stations to Belco’s “industrial area” west of Josephson, but that’s deviating.

I realise we have to be patient for development to occur, as it you pointed out in Tuggeranong, but at least they left suitable land available on which to develop office space etc. That’s what I’m worried about: developments going up everywhere and then the ACT Government saying “aww shucks, no room left for what we really need”.

#24
Holden Caulfield11:21 am, 14 Mar 13

puggy said :

I realise we have to be patient for development to occur, as it you pointed out in Tuggeranong, but at least they left suitable land available on which to develop office space etc. That’s what I’m worried about: developments going up everywhere and then the ACT Government saying “aww shucks, no room left for what we really need”.

Yeah, that’s fair enough. I’d always figured that office developments would be best suited on the other side of the town centre, where the hospital could have been a good addition.

I’m not sure having the school opposite a Bunnings is that much of a concern. Would a Bunnings that much worse than a Good Guys or whoever? There’s still going to be parking and other concerns that need addressing.

While not an exact replica, it’s not that far removed from Marist and the car yards of Phillip. Although I acknowledge the space between the two sites is much closer in the Gungahlin example.

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