By LACHLAN MOORHEAD
CASEY needs more local jobs.
Councillors are often championing the need for more local jobs to curb the number of people travelling from Casey and back for work.
The Casey Central Shopping Centre, which is nearing the end of its development, is expected to do this – provide additional jobs to a community craving them, including those builders currently working on the facility.
Centre manager Daniel Boyle said as much to Star News last week during a tour of the new development.
“There’s been at least 1200 people working on the site,” he said.
“There were something like 60 or 70 jobs before, Coles being the main driver of those, and we’re expecting it to reach around 400.
“It was about 7000 square metres before and it will be 28,500 when it’s finished.”
The employees at Target and Coles moved into their premises before Christmas, while other traders are expected to move into their shops in the coming weeks.
“It’s a place to meet, it’s a place to spend time with your family and friends,” Mr Boyle said of the new shopping centre.
“It’s about getting the basics of everyday. So it’s a school uniform for the kids, it’s a pair of shoes, dad might come and buy a present for mum, you can do your fresh food shopping every week, drop in and get some take-away.
“It’s very focused on every day needs.”
The Casey Central Pharmacy has been trading out of the shopping centre since the facility first opened more than a decade ago, and co-proprietor Anthony Tassone told Star News he was excited at the prospect of moving into a new, refurbished facility after all these years.
“It’s a long-time coming, and we’re really grateful to the Scentre Group for investing in the local area,” he said.
“We’ve been here from the start, since 2000 and the shopping centre has seen a number of owners, all promising a second stage, thankfully it’s finally here.”
Mr Tassone echoed Mr Boyle’s sentiment and praised the prospect of new jobs for the community.
“You go into business to create opportunity and it’s really, really exciting to be able to offer new positions, offer new opportunities – the Casey Central Shopping Centre Facebook page lights up every time there’s a job advertisement or a job opportunity,” he said.
“People want to get involved, which is great, and it will be a really great thing once it arrives.
“What we will be most excited with, is we will be able to have links with an extended hours medical centre to work with doctors and their healthcare providers to provide more complete care for our community.”