What's Happening to Halls Head Shops?
If you're a local like me, you know that the old Halls Head shops has a number of locally owned businesses that are well supported in there. For one, there is Farmer Jacks - one of only a handful of local grocers, a bakery and an Italian Café.
The Centre was sold in 2020 for 6.3 million to a Victorian investor. Recently there's been rumors the Centre is going to be fully demolished and re developed. Last week it was confirmed there is a 14 million dollar proposal for the re-development.
As this is such a big development, the process for them means it has to go through the Joint Development Assessment Panel - and although that sounds like it is out of council's hands outside of their recommendations, this panel consists largely of local council members and City of Mandurah staff, including the Mayor. The council still have a big voice in this matter and can make a difference to the outcome.
As a local and a previous small business owner, the problem I see here leads into invested interest trumping the voices of the people who are paying their taxes to be represented. The community are made up of these local business owners, and we want to see these people thrive and not be pushed out by larger corporations. This leaves us with a very limited choice as consumers.
Unfortunately, the outcome of these developments typically lend to how it can make the most financial return to the Victorian investor, ignoring the local businesses that the community love and use. While new investment is great for the City of Mandurah, it is important that it aligns with what we want. These changes are permanent and have a lasting impact on how we experience our community, and the choices we have as consumers.
The proposal screams 'village' and supporting local, although it is rumored Woolworths will be the new anchor tenant that will replace Farmer Jacks. Without even starting the development, its failed at supporting our local businesses in my opinion.
By law this has to be open to the public to allow feedback.
If you are unhappy with the displacement of local businesses and don't want to see ANOTHER commercial shopping Centre (let's remind ourselves we already have ALDI and Coles literally within walking distance to this site) then please have your say. Use the resources we pay for as tax payers and get your voice heard. We need more genuine community building and enriching spaces to enjoy, not another Victorian investors pocket to fill at the expense of our neighbours.
You can also attend council meetings or reach out a council member to voice your concerns.