STRATHFIELDSAYE residents have given a new Woolworths complex the thumbs down, with traffic and safety issues the chief concerns.
But a Woolworths spokesperson said the new complex would create about 120 new jobs.
Strathfieldsaye resident Jennifer Hurrell said she had several issues with a supermarket opening up next to Strathfieldsaye Primary School, where her two children attend.
“The intersection is dangerous already and it is a site right next to a primary school,” she said.
She said many parents at the school shared her feelings and her 10-year-old son had written to the City of Greater Bendigo in opposition to the development.
“He has been very distressed about it,” she said. “He’s worried about the wildlife in the surrounding trees.”
Strathfieldsaye Football Netball Club committee member Mick Cunning said he was more concerned about the impact the supermarket would have on Strathfieldsaye Supa IGA.
“IGA have supported us very well over the past four years in our formation years,” he said.
“We appreciate their support and want to support them, too.”
He did not see the need for another supermarket in the suburb.
“There are enough around to service the area,” he said.
A Woolworths spokesperson said the company was looking forward to joining the local community.
“The new Woolworths supermarket will offer the local community, greater choice, convenience and value when shopping,” she said.
“The 3800 metres squared Woolworths will be in line with Woolworths’ latest design and include a market feel extended fresh area.
“Once completed, the store will create approximately 120 new local jobs.
Several residents posted online messages supporting the new complex following a recent Bendigo Advertiser story.
One said unwanted IGA staff could take positions at the new Woolworths and another said competition could see lower prices while agreeing it was in the wrong spot.
Another person said the added competition could improve food quality and create jobs in the area.
But IGA owner Mark Geyer said the economic analysis Woolworths gave the City of Greater Bendigo was flawed. “We know there’s going to be competition, but their numbers don’t stack up,” he said.