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New shopping centre open for business

IN BUSINESS: Developer Geoff Bonney, long-time resident Betty Mergard, and Foodworks owners Peter Kinder and Michelle Irvine cut the ribbon.
IN BUSINESS: Developer Geoff Bonney, long-time resident Betty Mergard, and Foodworks owners Peter Kinder and Michelle Irvine cut the ribbon. Luka Kauzlaric

BETTY Mergard officially opened the new Agnes Water Central shopping centre on Saturday.

Twelve hundred square metres has been developed to create a much-needed full line supermarket for the town.

And while grocery shopping enters a new era in Agnes Water, it's the interactive floor that has everyone celebrating.

Developer Geoff Bonney said the structure would be highly beneficial to the community.

"We had a basic design but we sat down with the architect and tailored it to what the locals need," he said.

"There was only a convenience store previously but this new development has really opened up opportunities.

"The bigger centre means it will increase employment rates too."

The facilities the centre features are state-of-the-art, with only four like it in Australia.

A revolutionary refrigeration and air conditioning unit behind the scenes and 5m interactive floor is what has locals so excited.

Iconic local Betty Mergard said she'd seen nothing like it in her 75 years.

"It's got the wow factor," she said. "The moving flooring and post office layout is just amazing."

The Mergard family's long term tourist industry input made her the perfect candidate to cut the official ribbon.

"I was really representing the community and their future enjoyment of the facility," she said.

Betty's daughter Desley O'Grady said it was fantastic for the area, "especially for holiday makers who will have more of a range for shopping".

"We've been coming here for over 70 years, and it's a big moment for us," she said.

Backpacker Tamara Volk said the food looked pretty good.

"It's not too expensive so it's great for us," she said. "The interactive floor will be good for the kids."

While Mark Mergard said it would "help the growth of the area".

Joel O'Grady said it was nice and neat and not cluttered.

"The interactive floor is fantastic."

Currently Foodworks and the post office are operational.

Topics:  agnes water, gladstone business, shopping, supermarket




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