New IGA poses issue for Wollongbar

WOLLONGBAR could be getting a second IGA supermarket, with a proposal for a $5 million Super IGA development at the old Bellowing Bull site.

But there are concerns about the effect a bigger supermarket will have on the village.

It is understood the existing Wollongbar IGA would be forced into direct competition if the new Supa IGA is approved by Ballina Shire Council.

The two supermarkets would be owned by different people.

Wollongbar Progress Association president Adam Easton said it would be difficult for his organisation to support the new development.

“The operators of the existing IGA are very supportive of this community,” he said.

“As an association, we will be putting our support behind them.

“But on the other hand I realise that Wollongbar is growing.

“Catering for the needs of the community is one thing, and that shouldn’t be forgotten, but it is also an imposition on the existing IGA and their goodwill.”

The Supa IGA development would also incorporate some specialty shops and more than 100 car parks.

It would be open Monday to Friday, 7am to 9pm; Saturday, 7am to 8pm’ and Sunday, 8am to 6pm.

Wollongbar resident and former progress association president Marilyn Perkins said this level of competition in a small community was ‘unfair’.

“What’s going to happen to the current IGA? It’s a real shame,” she said.

“From my point of view, this is a very disappointing situation.

“Eventually Wollongbar might support two supermarkets, but that is years away.”

Ballina Shire councillor David Wright said issues such as traffic management would have to be looked at very closely.

“I think a lot of people in Wollongbar will like having a new, bigger supermarket, but it could be detrimental to the existing shops,” he said.

“What is really needed is more housing blocks.”

The managers of the existing Wollongbar IGA would not comment when contacted by The Northern Star yesterday.

The developers of the Supa IGA also did not comment before The Star’s deadline.

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