Jane Erkens
Former Nanango Chamber of Commerce President Jane Erkens

May 24, 2012

Reaction in Nanango’s business community to the South Burnett Regional Council’s decision yesterday to make the developer of a proposed Nanango shopping centre resubmit a development application has been supportive (see  Council Refuses To Pay Developer’s Costs).

Nanango Real Estate principal, and former Nanango Chamber Of Commerce president, Jane Erkens said she was “very happy” about the Council’s decision.

“I really don’t think this project is in the right location,” she said.

“It’s too far away from the CBD and if it started, all it would do is kill off stores in Drayton Street.

“We have far too many empty shops there already.”

Mrs Erkens said she also believed the vacant lot at the corner of Normanby Street and the D’Aguilar Highway was acting as deterrent to other business developments in Nanango.

“I’ve heard that at least one other shopping centre idea got killed off because the people who wanted to put it together thought that if this (the proposed shopping centre) went ahead, it’d harm their own project.

“So they pulled out and now the town has nothing.”

Mrs Erkens said that while she applauded Cr Barry Green’s desire to see more development in Nanango, she didn’t think that spreading commercial development out of the town’s heart was the best way to do it.

“What we really need is something in the CBD itself,” she said. “That would benefit everybody and get Nanango growing again.”


New Motel A Better Option

Nanango Tourism and Development Association president Ross Towell agrees.

“Scrapping this idea would be the best thing that could happen for Nanango,” he said.

“This shopping centre wouldn’t just impact on Nanango Foodworks, it would have a negative impact on all Nanango businesses.

“If people have to drive 1km out of town to do their shopping, they’ll do most of their shopping there. And some of them will just keep on driving to Kingaroy instead.”

Mr Towell also said he thought the project would now be unviable because of the concentration of large supermarkets which has occurred in Kingaroy over the past four years, with the opening of Super IGA in May 2008 and Aldi in December 2009.

“All shopping centres need a major supermarket tenant otherwise the rents for other small businesses in the centre are unaffordable,” he said.

“However the big supermarkets have a policy of not building outlets too close to one another. And since most of them now have outlets in Kingaroy, I doubt one could be found.

“So not only would the project ultimately fail, but it would drag down a lot of existing local businesses while it was doing that.”

Mr Towell said he hoped the property’s owner might consider another use for the block instead, such as a motel, residential blocks or a combination of both.

“There’s definitely room for another motel in Nanango,” he said.

“Whenever Tarong have a shut-down it’s almost impossible to get accommodation here.”

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