Some councillors want to reconsider the possibility of expanding Lismore Shopping Square.
Some councillors want to reconsider the possibility of expanding Lismore Shopping Square. Marc Stapelberg

POLL: Have your say on $90m Lismore Square expansion

Update Thursday 12.10pm: DIVISION in the community over the re-tabling of the $90m Lismore Square expansion is playing out on social media.

Do you think Lismore councillors should reconsider the proposal to expand Lismore Square?

This poll ended on 22 September 2017.

Current Results

Yes

65%

No

34%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Some have sided with Mayor Isaac Smith in support of the rescission motion while others have expressed their opposition for the project to come back to council.

About 40 readers have made their views known on The Northern Star's Facebook page.

Concerns about impacts on the neighbouring CBD and large shopping malls have emerged once again.

Daniel Rose opposed the expansion and said the town didn't "need a Westfield-like big boy bullying shopping centre".

"No no no no" was the message amplified by Chantel Payne, who said "we can't even keep the shops up there we already have".

The no stance was met with a resounding yes stance by our readers on Facebook.

Twenty-one people simply said yes to reconsidering the proposal.

Justin Zellars said the expansion would be a no brainer.

"Why would you want to stop someone from spending money and creating jobs for the local economy?," he said. 

Julian Price said while the development would be great, he cited worry about expensive rent prices.

Reader Michelle Murphy said "the horse has bolted" on the debate citing the investor has "gone elsewhere".
 

 

Original story: LISMORE Mayor Isaac Smith says he is willing to revive discussions about a proposed $90 million expansion to Lismore Shopping Square that was shut down by councillors last week.

Councillors Smith and Gianpiero Battista have been in talks about the idea of a rescission motion to bring the potential investment back before the council.

The rescission motion would involve reinstating the controversial offer for council to enter into a memorandum of understanding about the project with developer Gary McConaghy, of McConaghy Properties.

But the mayor has made clear those opposing the development, naming Crs Greg Bennett and Nancy Casson, needed to be willing to renegotiate.

The pair voted against further investigation of the proposed expansion after their amendment calling for consistency for ratepayers was voted down at last Tuesday's meeting.

If those against wouldn't be willing to reconsider their position on the project, Cr Smith said the rescission motion would serve as a "rehashing of old wounds".

"I don't think that is in the best interests of Lismore," Cr Smith said.

Cr Battista said the council's 6-5 against vote was not a proper indicator of the community's stance on the development.

"We haven't tested if the community is for or against," he said.

"This is just a decision made by some councillors based on the perceived idea that something bad is going to happen to the CBD or this community.

"I don't believe that is true."

But firm opponent to the development, Cr Eddie Lloyd, warned on her public Facebook page about rumours Cr Battista was hatching a plan to move a rescission motion.

She urged the community through the social media platform not "to be fooled by lines such as 'we are just agreeing on a process' or lines which criticise my fellow councillors and I by accusing is of shutting down this discussion".

"I've never heard anything more ridiculous. We have been consulting the community over this parkland for years," Cr Lloyd wrote.

"To suddenly turn our back on that as soon as a developer waves some gold at us is insulting to our community and is a sell out."

Cr Smith recognised that the dust had barely settled after the proposed MOU was voted down last week.

Given the council rejected the development, Cr Smith said councillors had more time to discuss the issue either in the form of a rescission motion at the October council meeting or three months later.

But Cr Smith said if there were to be a renewed discussion it would be best to do it sooner rather than later, fearing "later may be too late" for the developer.

 


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