Herald Sun | Monday 29 October 2018
RETAILERS have railed against a plan by multinational monolith Kaufland to set up shop in the Dandenong area.
They say the German juggernaut is riding roughshod over planning laws and getting “a free kick” into the local market.
State Planning Minister Richard Wynne has appointed a committee to look at proposals by the chain for sites in Dandenong, Mornington, Oakleigh South, Chirnside Park, Epping and Coolaroo.
But local independent store owners such as FoodWorks, IGA and Friendly Grocers have set up a campaign, Save our Shops, to try and stop the company from setting up a megastore at on the corner of Princes Hwy and Gladstone Rd.
Ben Adili from Dandenong IGA and Mina Dawood from Amalia Europe Cheese Cafe Deli are fighting the possible arrival of supermarket giant Kaufland to the area. Picture: Penny Stephens
They are calling for the government to give planning powers back to local councils.
IGA Dandenong’s Ben Adili said their campaign was designed to make foreign-owned companies compete on the same playing field as local small businesses.
“This is all about ensuring that the local community gets a say on major planning decisions which will have significant impacts on where they live and shop,” he said.
Master Grocers Association chief executive Jos De Bruin said the approvals process gave overseas competitors an unfair advantage.
But retail expert Dr Gary Mortimer said Kaufland was a “destination retailer” and not a drop-in shop so independent fresh food retailers should not be impacted significantly.
Dandenong state Labor MP Gabrielle Williams said it was “a great vote of confidence” that another major company was considering setting up there.
When asked by the Leader their view on the proposal, Greater Dandenong Council would only say they had made a submission to the advisory committee.
Kaufland did not answer Leader’s questions before deadline.
Public hearings will be held next month — go to engage.vic.gov.au/kaufland-advisory-committee/gladstone-road for details.