Gympie supermarket to expand carpark amid safety fears
BETTER parking will soon be available at Aldi Gympie, with the company to expand the carpark amid safety concerns, including one serious near-miss.
On a trip to the shop last October, resident Scott Cowell said there had been a close call when an elderly gentleman on a motorised scooter narrowly missed colliding with a delivery truck.
"He wasn't noticed," Mr Cowell said.
"Everybody screeched to a halt when they saw him at the last moment."
With a background in health and safety and concerned, Mr Cowell had been taking a photo of cars which were parked illegally when the incident happened.
"Parking against the road traffic signs occurs every day of the week without fail," he said.
"It's become standard practice."
He instead snapped a shot of the aftermath, but his attempts to have the problem addressed left him dissatisfied.
He reported it to Aldi staff right away but said it was called "my problem", while the police told him it was not their jurisdiction.
He even asked Gympie Regional Council if they could clarify whose responsibility it was.
"I've chased this down more avenues than most people would," Mr Cowell said.
"I haven't been able to get anybody to listen to me.
He said the contacted The Gympie Times as a last resort effort to have the problem addressed.
In a statement, an Aldi Australia spokeswoman said the company took customer safety seriously.
"The number of customers visiting our Gympie store has grown considerably in recent years, which has put pressure on parking," she said.
Off their own observations and customer feedback, she said plans were now under way to improve the carpark and had been approved by the council.
Work is expected to start later this year.
"There will also be a number of additional upgrades to the carpark as part of Aldi Gympie's refurbishment this month," she said.
This will include bollards in "no parking" areas, and a one-way system in one section.
Mr Cowell said upgrades which reduced risks would be welcome, but it should not be an excuse to shirk responsibilities.
"All risks need to be controlled," he said.
"That's the bottom line."