Work starts on shopping centre
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
THE spade was polished so brightly, Lismore mayor Merv King almost couldn't bring himself to get it dirty. However, bound by his official mayoral duties, Cr King was yesterday forced to dirty the spade as he turned the first sod of earth at the site of the $40-million Lismore Shopping Square extension. The 15,000 square metre development will include retail giants Big W and Woolworths, as well as 30 extra specialty stores, 700 additional car-parking spaces and a 450-seat food court. Cr King said it would be open for business by late next year. "It's something Lismore has been waiting for, for a long time," he said. "Some people travel great distances to get to places like Big W, so this will have enormous benefits for the community ? particularly with our projected population growth." The mood across the road from the ceremony, however, was more sombre. A group of Diadem Street residents have hung signs from their verandahs in opposition to a proposed Woolworths Plus petrol station next to the shopping centre. "We're concerned about safety, traffic late at night and invasion of privacy," said resident David Martin. Cr King said the petrol station had not yet been approved, as it was a separate development proposal to the centre extension. He said it would probably be debated by the council in November.