Woolworths Dan Murphy’s is one step closer to having a footprint in the Northern Territory, with its future now in the hands of the NT Commission.
After months of delays, the application was finally delivered to the commission on Friday, by the NT’s Director-General of Licensing.
It will now be scrutinised and a decision eventually made on whether the superstore can be built in the Darwin Airport precinct.
Endeavour Group’s Shane Tremble said he anticipated the outcome would not be determined overnight.
“It’s a complex application, [the commission have] never determined anything like that before, we’ve never run an application like this up there before, it’s bound to take some time,” Mr Tremble said.
“They’ve only been in existence for 12 months and the information has apparently just dropped in their laps in the last little while.”
The timeline for the Commission process with the Dan Murphy’s application currently remains unclear.
Long road to Commission
The news marked the latest chapter in a years-long saga to build a Dan Murphy’s in Darwin.
The NT Government introduced a 400-square-metre floor-space limit that stopped Dan Murphy’s from opening their Darwin franchise in 2017.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner eventually backflipped on the move, in response to an independent review of the NT’s legislation, and the law was repealed.
The legislation review, run by former chief justice Trevor Riley, also recommended the establishment of the NT Commission.
Next hurdles to include public objections
One of the next hurdles for the Dan Murphy’s team would be overcoming public objection to the project.
A spokesperson for the Attorney-General’s Department said the Commission process would include “time for public objection and for the applicant to respond to any objections”, and noted “this material is in the final stages of being collated”.
Objection was expected to come from a number of corners, including the Territory hospitality industry and Indigenous groups with safety concerns over the proposed location, which is near a number of main roads and central Darwin Indigenous communities.