Lismore's new-wave shopping
RETAIL manager of the brand new Woolworths Centre at Goonellabah David Griffiths is standing proudly outside his new domain.
Justifiably chuffed to be looking after Lismore's latest retail addition that will open on Wednesday - he has plenty to say about the site.
"These modern centres, they don't just whack a slab of concrete down and say 'this is a shopping centre' anymore, he said.
"They've got environmental considerations - landscaping, displays, murals - it's all about trying to be on the same page as the community."
The landscaping at the centre features Illawarra flame trees, pines, reed bed plants to soak up excess moisture and rainwater tanks.
There's also a huge 6m by 18m mural by Karla Dickens entitled Dreaming of Koala Heaven overlooking the skate park, a result of Lismore City Council's public art policy.
The shopping centre itself has a full-size Woolworths and the grocery giant has promised all the usual services plus a surprise new concept that's never been seen before.
Parking won't be a problem with shade sails for around 260 cars.
For moonlighting fitness gurus, there's an Anytime 24-hour gym, and bargain hunters will find a huge Dollars and Sense store.
"It's got the right mix of shops and it's really contemporary - it fits the demographic and the population," said Mr Griffiths.
A veteran of retail, his job is to make sure things run smoothly for retailers and the general public.
"Its pretty much an all-encompassing role - if there's fire alarms going off at two in the morning, I'm the one who comes here."
Mr Griffiths' wife Madeleine was born and raised in Casino, and he arrived in town at the age of 27.
After a decade they left chased a career on the Gold Coast, Brisbane, and Bundaberg, but ended up back in town with their three sons, now 19, 14, and 12.
"They love it here" he said.
"You kind of realise when you leave somewhere nice, that everywhere else isn't as good."
Opening: Wednesday, August 1, 8am with opening celebrations including children's characters, school choirs, and grand opening specials.
Shops: Woolworths, Anytime Gym, Dollars and Sense, Australia Post, Caltex and McDonalds.