Endeavour Group has today confirmed that it is planning to move the site of its proposed Darwin Dan Murphy’s store.
The application for the Darwin Dan Murphy’s store was first lodged over four years ago, sparking a long-running battle which would include an independent Liquor Commission, rejections, appeals and opposition from a number of community and health groups.
The store was set to be the anchor tenant of the proposed Darwin Airport Central retail precinct, which would be worth around $30 million of private investment.
The biggest issue that sparked opposition for the proposed site was its proximity to three Aboriginal communities and this has been the reason for the rejection thus far. The fight amongst the opposition was renewed this week when the NT Government introduced a new ‘urgent’ bill to fast track a decision on the application. The NT News reports that this prompted some groups to confront parent company Woolworths at its AGM today.
However, Endeavour Group said the decision to relocate the proposed store to a new site, which was made in conjunction with the local communities, has been welcomed by those who opposed the application.
The new site is in the midst of an already developed area, which would still be part of the planned Darwin Airport Retail Precinct but at a greater distance from Aboriginal communities than the original site.
Shane Tremble, General Manager Corporate Service for Endeavour Group, said: “The new site is further away from local Indigenous communities and we believe the change will help to alleviate some of the key concerns.
“We have spent a lot of time having meaningful conversations with local communities to understand their views, listen to any concerns they may have and to address them.”
Endeavour Group said it has been working closely with the Elders and leaders of the nearby Aboriginal communities and have committed to a number of measures to mitigate the risk of alcohol related harm.
Such measures would make the proposed Dan Murphy’s Darwin have some of the most stringent alcohol control policies in the country. For example, there would be the development of a Responsible Service and Consumption Plan to ensure the store has appropriate products, pricing and promotion and a commitment to a precinct management committee to ensure the area around the store is properly managed.
With these measures and the new location, Endeavour Group noted that both the Minmarama and Kulaluk communities have expressed their support for the revised application.
“We have been having conversations with the NT Government for some time now about the possibility of moving the location of the store following community feedback,” Tremble added.
“We have been and continue to engage with local communities to listen to and address any concerns they may have and incorporate them as part of our Responsible Service of Alcohol Management Plan. If approved, we are committed to continuing an open dialogue with the people of Darwin.”
If approved, the development of the Darwin Dan Murphy’s alone is estimated to inject $15 million to the local economy during construction, as well as 163 jobs over seven months. Once operational, it would directly employ up to 40 people, representing an additional $6.5 million for the local economy. If approved, it could be trading within 12 months.
A decision about the fast track bill is expected in NT Parliament today, and the outcome of the application should follow.