Truck Off!! No Megamart for Bondi Beach

An open objection letter to Waverley Council

This letter outlines our reasons for objecting to the proposed DA. Feel free to borrow from our objection as you see fit but remember it is always best to put things in your own words if possible. 



Dear Councillors,

I am writing to ask you to show your support for Bondi local businesses and to listen to what Bondi residents really want by rejecting DA 433/2012- SWISS GRAND HOTEL: Establish use of a 24 Hour Supermarket with Liquor Store and associated fit out. 

The supermarket is most likely going to be a Woolworths or Coles and should be rejected for the following reasons:

    1. Due to the duopoly’s 70% national grocery market share and massive bargaining power, existing local businesses will be undercut in price thereby affecting the viability of their business and could ultimately result in a net reduction in variety of trade in the area resulting in a retail monoculture. It is noted that no retail impact assessment has been conducted for this type of retail use as part of this DA.  Without a quantitative retail impact assessment, there is no way of ensuring that approving this proposal would not have detrimental impact on the local retail. I support fair competition in our neighbourhood. The concept of ‘Net Community Benefit’ (NCB) needs to find a more explicit and accountable expression in planning deliberations. Considerations of available choice, demonstrated need, diversity, escape spending, employment and impacts on existing retail shops. 

      Oversupply of retail space, as displayed in this proposal, would result in devaluing the existing retail space and could result in lower value uses as rents in the area are pushed down. The impact would be felt not only on Campbell Parade and North Bondi but also on Curlewis Street, Gould Street and Hall Street as trade is drawn to the unsustainably low prices that could be offered by allowing Woolworths or Coles into the precinct.  

      61 small businesses and/or family-owned operations will be seriously affected if a major retail supermarket chain opens at the proposed site. This equates to at least 200-240 livelihoods being adversely affected. For example, for every 10 jobs created by Woolworths, 17 jobs are lost in the existing local business community ( "Let's Have fair Competition" Report by Master Grocers Australia (August 2012).  Furthermore, 90% of money generated from local business stay within the local community, compared to 20% from large retail operators

        2. Both companies are currently being investigated by the ACCC for predatory and anti-competitive behaviour.

          3. Increased parking pressures:.  the area surrounding the subject site The Beach currently does not have enough parking spaces to cater for residential, visitor, tradespeople, tourist, and delivery demands. Furthermore, the Planning Dept’s statement in relation to parking “that at some point the 175 allocated public parking spaces will be at capacity given the original approval on this site allows an undersupply compared to the DCP parking rates” (p.8) surely suggests that there is a serious problem with the number of parking spaces allocated for this supermarket.

            4. Non-compliance with CURRENT planning instruments due to the application being lodged THREE weeks before all applications were subject to revised Waverly LEP and DCP.  This is unacceptable to the community given the size of the application and its far-reaching effects.

            a)      Waverley Local Environmental Plan 2012 (clause 1.2, section 2a,b), states that developments must:

            i. Promote a range of commercial, retail, residential, tourism, culture and community uses to service the local and wider community, and

            ii. maintain and reinforce Bondi Junction as the primary commercial and cltural cetnre of the Eatsern Suburbs

                The supermarket proposed by DA 433/2012 is therefore non-compliant because:

                • Bondi Beach is already well serviced by three major retail brand supermarkets (with a fourth about to open) in Bondi Junction, two  major retail brand supermarkets in Rose Bay, one major retail brand supermarket in Double Bay, and two major retail brand supermarkets in Edgecliff.  Two IGA's and a number of convenience stores, mini-supermarkets, chemists, and newsagents in the local Bondi basin currently operate with extended trading hours.
                • A new major retail brand supermarket will cause the demise of many small local businesses. The subsequent increase in vacant commercial space will devalue the appeal of Bondi Beach to both locals and tourists and put at risk the existing retail range servicing the community.
                • Bondi Beach is a commercial destination associated with seasonal beach activity. It does not have the infrastructure to support becoming any other sort of commercial destination. As per the Waverley LEP (2012), the primary commercial centre is Bondi Junction, not Bondi Beach.

                b)      The current Development Control Plan (2012) has wound back trading hours on Campbell Parade and Hall Street from 6am-2am to 7am-11pm.  This brings the area in line with the rest of Waverley and is a reflection of what the community wants. However, as this DA was submitted 3 weeks prior to the cut-off, this supermarket will only be subject to the outdated 2010 DCP.

                  5. There has been NO mention of the management of disposed plastic shopping bags, food packaging and plastic bottles.  It is unprecedented to have a large supermarket right next to Bondi Beach and it is inevitable that large amounts of plastics will end up polluting Bondi Beach and the ocean, the latter leading to increased mortality of marine mammals, birds and turtles.   

                   Another Liquor Store in Bondi Beach will be detrimental to the community because:

                  1. Increased availability of heavily advertised cheap take-away alcohol for drinking across the road in the Bondi Park and beach is strongly opposed by the police, community and Council planners but the developers are still lobbying for their liquor barn. We would hope Councillors would make the only reasonable decision which is to reject the liquor barn.
                  2. Bondi Beach is classified by OLGR, BOSCAR data, and the police as one of four serious Hot Spots for alcohol related crimes, anti-social behaviour, assaults and malicious damage.
                  3. The incidence of under-age drinking, binge-drinking and the secondary supply of alcohol to children is already a serious problem in Bondi Beach.  A cut-price liquor outlet would clearly exacerbate this problem.
                  4. Waverley Council is investigating the cumulative impact of the increasing number of alcohol outlets in the area and has established a Liquor Working Group to find ways of dealing with this.   With eleven existing liquor outlets already operating tThere is no valid argument to approve another off-licence in Bondi Beach.   Additionally, aAt 189 m2, the proposed store will be between 70% and up to 300% larger than any of the existing ELEVEN outlets.
                  5. A precedent has already been set where a potential Liquorland on Campbell Parade was rejected in 2012.

                  As a council, Waverley should be supporting local traders, locally owned businesses and the wishes of local residents.  This proposal does not meet the requirements of any of these groups, the current Waverley DCP or LEP and should be rejected. 

                  If you choose to accept the supermarket there must be at least these conditions of consent:

                    • It must close earlier than 1am as recommended by the Police Commander (to avoid displaced patrons leaving licensed premises and the potential for antisocial behaviour, and to facilitate the egress of these persons out of the area).  This will bring it line with the reviewed hours of trading as per your DCP (2012)
                    • Disposable plastic bags must be prohibited given the proximity to the beach and ocean and the inevitability of these bags ending up in these locations. 

                        If approved we believe this type of supermarket will suck the life out of our local shops, taking profits and jobs OUT of Bondi Beach, eroding the independent, bohemian spirit and cultural diversity that makes Bondi Beach so valued to its residents and visitors alike.

                        We are asking YOU to ask Councillors to reject the supermarket and liquor storeand call on them to support local businesses and to protect Bondi Beach’s unique culture.

                        I therefore request the Councillors to reject the supermarket and liquor store as proposed in DA 433/2012.