The state of play in Queensland. Source: The Courier-Mail
Depending on who you listen to, nasty, bad old Deputy Premier and Planning Minister Jeff Seeney, has intervened in a legal challenge to the establishment of a Costco warehouse and retail development at North Lakes. The development, which is expected to cost over $100 million, was approved by Moreton Bay Regional Council in August but has been subjected to legal challenges.
The opposition comes from two major retailers, Westfield and IGA. While cynics might be inclined to jump to the conclusion that these two are simply using legal maneuvers in an attempt to protect their dominance in the area, both claim to be acting out of pure altruism and community spirit. They are claiming after all, that the development does not comply with the local town plan, and may have a detrimental effect; no, skip that; threaten the very survival of small business in the area.
Us country boys tend to stand in wonderment at the sense of self-sacrifice and noblesse oblige of major retailers in standing up for the little guy who is threatened by the arrival of another mega store in the area.
The reality is that the established major retail outlets are doing their damndest to use any legal recourse available to them to prevent any further competition taking hold. Their favorite method is to use town-planning ordinances to their own benefit:
There has been a long-standing argument by well meaning people as to the existence of a ‘duopoly’ between Coles and Woolworths to dominate the retail market. The reality is that any major outlet will attempt to avoid competition by any means available. Local planning laws are one of the best options for them in this effort, and end up costing local ratepayers a fortune.
This has been covered here before here:
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