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May 18, 2021

$90m Lismore Square expansion back on the agenda

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The proposed expansion area for the Lismore Square Shopping Centre proposal.

A Lismore City councillor has lodged a notice of motion calling on the council to reconsider its opposition to a proposed $90 million expansion of the Lismore Square Shopping Centre.

Cr Neil Marks wants the council to hold a workshop early next year to progress the expansion of the Square.

The proposed workshop would consider the minimum footprint requirements for the expansion, the full impact the expansion would have on neighbouring Humbly Oval, and opportunities to mitigate the impact on the Lismore CBD.

The notice of motion follows a decision by a majority of councillors in September to reject the proposed expansion.

That decision followed prompted a storm of criticism from sections of the community supporting an expansion, including Page MP Kevin Hogan and Lismore MP Thomas George.

But those against the expansion, on the grounds that it would require the sale of public land (Humbly Oval), and would have a negative impact on traders in the CBD were left celebrating the decision.

At the September meeting,

Crs Gianpiero Battista, Neil Marks, Darlene Cook, Bill Moorhouse and Isaac Smith voted to further investigate the expansion proposal, while Crs Nancy Casson, Adam Guise, Vanessa Ekins, Eddie Lloyd, Greg Bennett and Elly Bird voted against.

Cr Marks believes however that all councillors  now have a greater understanding of what the proposed $90 million expansion would deliver.

‘After the September meeting many of us were inundated with calls from the community to revisit this decision due to the importance of the potential investment into our community and the future employment opportunities at an expanded Square into the future,’ he wrote in support of his notice of motion.
‘Many of these came from the business community whom some thought would be adversely affected by an expansion.
‘There were many arguments on the night that were taken out of context especially the effect of an expanded Square on the CBD after the March flood, with the reality that we are only being asked to further the enquiry, to look at what it might entail as far as design, roads etc.
‘There were also inaccuracies about construction companies and the like.
‘With the greater understanding we have now of our community wants and needs we are in a better situation to make a more informed decision at this time. ‘
Councillors will consider the motion at next Thursday’s council meeting.


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