The High Road Hotel (formally the Riverton Hotel), which was established in 1962, is set to be demolished to make way for a Coles Shopping |Centre and liquor store.
Mr O’Brien discussed the demolition of the High Road Hotel on Thursday, June 18, in the Legislative Council as private members business.
This comes after the Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs received a petition from Saving High Road committee organiser Tanya Woosnam.
More than 2500 people signed the petition.
In Parliament, Mr O’Brien expressed his dismay over the community losing the benefits and amenity of the hotel.
It was argued that with the demise of the Lynwood Arms, there were no other pubs in the area with the same amenity, while Coles had about 270 businesses in the state.
I think it’s regrettable to see local institutions like the High Road Hotel disappearing, Mr O’Brien said.
It is a genuine provider of community facilities.
We’ve got plenty of supermarkets around the place, but we won’t have the Riverton Hotel and I think that’s sad.
Mr O’Brien said he respected the rights of any commercial entity to pursue profit.
But he also encouraged Coles management to reconsider its responsibilities to the communities in which it operates.
Riverton MLA Mike Nahan also voiced his desire for Coles to reconsider its plans and include the tavern as part of the redevelopment proposal.
The hotel is part of Riverton’s fabric it won’t be easily forgotten if it is demolished, and many residents will lament Coles for taking it away, Dr Nahan said.
A Coles spokesman said the redevelopment had been approved by the local council, whose decision-making process included the opportunity for members of the community to express their views.
Coles has also met with members of the community and State Government to |discuss the project, the spokesman said.
As well as low prices and a market-leading fresh food offer, we are certain the Riverton community will welcome the 130 full-time jobs the new Coles supermarket and First Choice store will create, in addition to the employment generated in the construction phase.
Construction is expected to be complete in 2016.