ALDI: How Mayor Strelow lobbied and fought for new supermarket
WEDNESDAY October 2, 2019 will go down as a momentous mark in Rockhampton Region mayor Margaret Strelow's career.
For more than six years, Cr Strelow fought to have an Aldi store open in Rockhampton.
She first wrote to the company in 2013 expressing the community's interest in opening a store in Rockhampton and again in 2015 after Cyclone Marcia when Aldi finally listened.
"They have gone through some hoops as we know to get this site, remembering JM Kelly began the build here so they persevered and we are finally here,"Cr Strelow said.
"I've been talking to some of the locals who have gotten jobs and have been off to Gladstone to train. I've also spoken to people who have moved to work for Aldi having trained somewhere else with the store, so that's all great news.
"Jobs are fabulous.
"I think Rockhampton generally is looking forward to having all of the things that their city cousins are used to being able to buy at Aldi.
"It's a different mix into our retail environment certainly one that's been strongly advocated."
Cr Strelow can also be held partly responsible for the Gladstone store.
As there were no stores in North or Central Queensland, Aldi built one in Gladstone as it was a bit closer to Brisbane, to test how the transport would work as a training model for a Rockhampton store.
For now, Aldi advised they don't have plans to expand to Mackay or further north.
There was also talks of an Aldi store opening on Rockhampton's northside however the site on Yaamba Rd fell into a legal battle with Stockland.
At this stage Aldi will focus on how the southside store goes and will need to find another block of land for a potential northside store.
"I think most of us have watched the drama and council certainly backed trying to get an Aldi into northside. We will work with the company," Cr Strelow said.
Aldi Australia managing director Brownyn Post thanked Cr Strelow for her efforts and welcomed customers to the store.
"What makes Aldi unique we sell products you can get from Coles and Woolworths and everything you need to find, staples, but on top of that we also have a range of exciting products from around the country and around the world," she said.
"Normally it's a lot cheaper than the competitors so that allows you to buy some special buys in shop as well as your groceries.
"It will increase competition so therefore customers should get more in the grocery basket because it will bring more prices to the Rockhampton area."