Woolworths will examine the stakeholder consultation process associated with Dan Murphy’s new outlet in Darwin, and has pledged not to commence work on the project until the review is complete.
the main points:
- The decision came after constant criticism from indigenous health groups
- The company says it has appointed a committee to review its handling of the proposal
- It says it will not begin working on the proposed site until the review is complete
The announcement comes just days before the Northern Territory government decides whether the proposed liquor store can go ahead.
“While stakeholder participation has been widespread thus far, we acknowledge that there are some in the community who feel they have not been adequately consulted about the proposed store,” said Gordon Kearns, chairman of the Woolworths Group, in a statement.
“The [independent panel review] It will provide another opportunity for them and other stakeholders who have a legitimate interest in development to express their views. “
Dan Murphy’s proposal – which will be the largest bottle store in the Northern Territory – has sparked continued criticism from Indigenous health groups concerned about its potential to harm three dry communities nearby.
The company had already changed its plans in response to this criticism, and last month announced that it would move the proposed store nearly a kilometer away from its initial location on Bagot Road.
The liquor store proposal was previously rejected by Northern Territory’s independent licensing decision maker, the Liquor Commission, leading to an appeals process.
Last month, the Northern Territory government, which supported Dan Murphy’s proposal, bypassed both the appeal process and the committee by giving a government bureaucrat, the liquor licensing director, the last word on the request under a fast-track process.
The decision is scheduled for December 20.
The committee set up by Woolworth will be chaired by attorney Danny Gilbert AM and will focus on:
- The adequacy and nature of stakeholder participation;
- The extent to which their concerns are taken into consideration in the decision-making process; And the
- Best practices regarding the impact of alcohol sales on indigenous people.
The committee is scheduled to submit its report by April of next year.
The company said that stakeholders will have an opportunity to contribute to the review.
Olga Havnin, Danila Dilba’s CEO and one of the proposal’s main critics, welcomed the announcement.
She said: “Regardless of the decision taken by the Director of Licensing of Alcoholic Beverages, it means that we already have a breathing space here for some meaningful consultations and participation.”
However, she questioned whether the move was an attempt to “soften the blow” before a possible decision in the company’s favor was made.
“But I think it is the duty of the board and the directors – and certainly their investors and major shareholders – to truly understand our concerns,” she said.
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