Campaign for Bidwill shopping centre

The community campaign to bring Bidwill back to life is on.

Chifley MP Ed Husic has joined the residents’ desperate plea for a functioning shopping centre to return to the suburb for the first time in at least 15 years.

As recently reported in the Star, Carlisle Plaza remains empty with exception of a kebab shop, despite long running promises from the developer who originally said it would open five years ago.

It’s understood lack of support from a supermarket retailer is one of the reasons for the delay.

Mr Husic recently appeared on A Current Affair to challenge one of the major supermarket retailers to move into the centre to attract more businesses and revive the area.

He hopes to meet with IGA representatives in the coming weeks.

‘‘We need to find a way to get off the ground to revive neighbourhood,’’ Mr Husic said.

‘‘It would create jobs, which is why I’ve called on the food retailers to give Bidwill a hand.’’

Community leaders agreed a functioning shopping centre would make a difference.

‘‘People need somewhere close to home to get groceries,’’ Bidwill Uniting Church team leader John Dacey said.

‘‘If you’re on a low income and don’t drive, you can’t always afford the taxi fare to go to another suburb to do the shopping. Catching a bus isn’t practical if you’ve got two or three kids in tow.’’

Urban Neighbours of Hope director Jon Owen added:

’’Having access to fruit and vegetables would increase residents’ buying power. The possibilities are endless for a functioning shopping centre.’’

It would also improve community morale, according to Mr Dacey.

‘‘It would make the community feel better about themselves,’’ he said.

‘‘The community remains positive that it will happen.’’

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