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Friday, 19 April 2019 04:17 pm

Community hub gives more options for residents in Johnsonville

A new local hub in Johnsonville will give residents more cafe options and space, a community leader says.

A conceptual image of the Johnsonville Community Hub. (PHOTO: Supplied.)

The community hub which started construction in January will have meeting rooms, a replacement kindergarten, and a café, Johnsonville Community Association president Simon Pleasants says

“Johnsonville sorely needs a new cafe option, because there’s one company that has the monopoly on pretty much all the prime commercial real estate between the motorway and the railway.

“They don’t seem to be interested in encouraging innovation, competition amongst cafes and so on.”

The company, Stride Properties, also own the Johnsonville Shopping Centre.

Stride’s general manager of retail Roy Stansfield says the Centre is proud of the eateries it offers to locals.

“The Centre welcomes new local eateries, so the Johnsonville community has diversity of choice when it comes to an out-of-home dining experience.

“New openings like The Hub means healthy competition for the local business community and attracts new visitors to the area,” Stansfield says.

Pleasants says his organisation has long campaigned for an upgrade to the library that the hub will bring.

“The population is going to hugely expand in the next couple of decades, so a community hub like this is absolutely vital.”

However, he says locals have raised issues about the car parking disruptions and the future of two youth recreation facilities.

“The construction will actually take away quite a lot of car parks that currently exist in the car park for the swimming pool and the construction will also eat into what has been a youth recreation area.

“There’s a youth room at the community centre that will disappear and the basketball court will disappear as well. The council has no plans for replacement.”

Deputy Mayor Jill Day, Northern Ward councillor and portfolio leader for libraries, children and young people, said in a statement the hub would revive the area for locals.

“Johnsonville and the northern suburbs are experiencing immense population growth at the moment and we are expecting that to continue.

“The new hub will ensure these important community facilities are fit-for-purpose for years to come.”

The project will happen in three stages and the hub is scheduled to open in December 2019.

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