More CBD supermarkets needed

Mr McKenzie gets in early before the shelves empty.

By Sunny Liu

CBD residents are finding it harder to shop for groceries near populated apartment buildings. 

Terry McKenzie lives in a 16-storey building on King St and, over recent years, has found it harder to buy groceries.

“If you go to Coles at five or six in the evening, there’s no in and there’s no out, because there are too many people,” he said.

“If you go there at eight, it’s just an empty shop. Nothing’s left,” Mr McKenzie said.

When he moved to the CBD he sold his car because public transport was so easily accessible. But he recently bought another after realising he could not possibly “take 15 grocery bags on a tram”.

Mr McKenzie chooses not to shop at his nearest supermarket on Spencer St due to overcrowding and limited supply.

High parking fees also make big shopping centres like Melbourne Central unattractive, he said. Mr McKenzie said he often drove out of town to North Melbourne so he could have more choices with his groceries.

According to Mr McKenzie, Melbourne’s CBD does not have enough infrastructure.

“People always think of infrastructure as public transport or housing, but they’ve got to think of food. Where should we get our groceries?” he asked.

Four new residential towers have been constructed opposite Southern Cross Station, creating 2500 apartments.

Five supermarkets and convenience stores are available within a 15-minute walk from the area but, according to Mr McKenzie, they are either too crowded or under-supplied.

“I think the politicians are only listening to the developers and the big money, but not the small people whom they are supposed to be representing,” Mr McKenzie said.

Short-stay accommodation arranged through online sites such as AirBnb has also added extra population to CBD apartment buildings.

Mr McKenzie said the travellers could pose threat to the security and also make it even harder for locals to buy groceries.

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