Like everyone else in the City of Wyndham, I am excited about the benefits the new Pacific Werribee complex will bring to our city. Benefits such as great shopping, quality food outlets and restaurants and an entertainment destination for performers and shows. All this will bring significant economic growth.
Council this week put out a press release detailing the facts and figures of the impact Pacific Werribee will have. According to the release, and to quote councillor Intaj Khan: “Our population is exceeding Geelong’s and will soon be equal to that of Canberra.”
While we are fast approaching Geelong’s figure of about 235,000, we are a long way from the 385,000 of the national capital. The release also stated: “More than 4000 jobs have been created through this project and it is expected that more than 12 million people will visit Pacific Werribee every year.” These figures were supplied to council by Pacific Werribee, which did not return my calls prior to deadline.
It should be pointed out that many of those jobs were for the construction of the site and are not ongoing. But let’s not nitpick – it is good news. The most successful shopping centre in Australia, Chadstone, averages just under 400,000 customers a month, which means about five million customers a year. Matching that figure would be sensational.
The Cherry Street carpark opened last week. According to a council press release, it will ease traffic congestion in Watton Street and provide more parking options for businesses. Stage one has 76 spots for business permit holders and 31 spaces for the public. I am keen to see what impact this has.
I will be accused of being cynical, but I strongly doubt 31 spaces will change the CBD experiences of shoppers or shopkeepers.
We have a council election coming up. Let me ask all candidates – and especially current councillors – not to bombard us with truckloads of figures and statistics about what you have done or what you plan to do. We can all live without it.
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