Trouble in the garden suburb

BY now you will be aware there’s trouble brewing in Hilton regarding the loss of our IGA. 

I say “our” IGA because since Gino Divitini took over the supermarket in 2008, that store has become an integral part of a community hub. 

With Charlie’s excellent coffee and Gilbert’s specialty offerings across South Street, a new Op Shop and Ruby’s, we do seem to finally have the Town Centre desired by the council.

The IGA doesn’t look like much but it employs 80 staff and offers a range of specialised products to suit the Hilton community. 

Since Mr Divitini took over in 2008, the quality of products and service has improved tremendously with many vegan, vegetarian, wholefood products and quality prepared meals offered. 

If they don’t have what you want, they’ll get it.

The IGA bent over backwards to accommodate the community particularly during the early days of the pandemic.

They even copped an unfair pasting for breaking large packets of toilet rolls into 4 packs. 

Some locals thought it was price gouging – as if! 

Gino made sure we all had loo paper, pasta and the rest. 

At the Hilton IGA the office door is always open and the staff are visible and helpful.


All that will change with the IGA’s proposed eviction.

Despite lengthy positive negotiations with the Carcione group and IGA central management to redevelop the site, our IGA is suddenly being evicted in favour of a much larger development by one of the big two supermarket duopoly. 

“Them’s the breaks” you might say, “it’s their property, their decision”. 

But is our community entirely irrelevant? 

There has been no attempt to engage with us, to put their case or to let us know what the future will bring. 

It’s a 19th century way of doing business. 

What about community engagement, amenity, fair play, the glorious trees on South Street and last, but not least, road safety?

Locals take their lives in their hands when using the pedestrian crossing to get across from the IGA to the shopping arcade opposite. 

A woman was run over there and seriously injured, just over a week ago. 

Main roads acknowledged the danger by preventing right hand turns at this intersection but now they claim any traffic issues from the proposed redevelopment aren’t theirs to deal with as they will impact only Paget Street, which they say is the council’s problem. 

This is already a dangerous corner. What further impact will such a large development provide? 

The development application includes a 24/7 grocery, with a cafe and liquor outlet. 

There are already three bottle shops in the area.

It’s not exactly a dry suburb!So, what do we want?

We’d like to hear from the owners, who didn’t attend the precinct meeting to discuss this, though they were invited. 

We want to enjoy safe usage of our Town Centre. 

And we want more time to consider the proposal, just before Christmas seems a tad tricky. 

We believe the people who live in the area should be involved in what their community looks like. 

This is our town centre and we will be living with whatever is built long after the developer moves on. 

Concerns can be addressed to Main Roads:

Selling out your suburb

HOW to sell out your local suburb in four easy steps.

1. Allow your local IGA to be replaced with a national chain supermarket complete with underground parking, check.

2. ‘Revamp’ the heart of said suburb by approving multiple 5-8 story apartment buildings, check.

3. Infill, infill, infill, check.

4. Conduct community consultation, but don’t let the locals voice actually change any of your plans, (it’s really quite inconvenient) check.

Now welcome to Beaconsfield!

Carol Readshaw
Field St, Beaconsfield

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