By DAVID MOASE
CHRISTMAS work and shopping plans are in disarray after the intended opening of the Moonee Beach Shopping Centre next week was put on hold.
The centre had been set to open next Wednesday but developer Ross Warburton said yesterday his aim now was to open the shopping centre 'before Christmas'.
A number of tenants have told the Coffs Coast Advocate they have been given an opening date of December 21 but Mr Warburton said he did not want to nominate a specific date.
It is the second time the opening has been delayed, with the first date of November 28 put back to December 7 two months ago.
Tony Maggio, the director/manager of the Country Fresh fruit and vegetable business that will be a part of the new shopping centre, described the latest setback as a 'bloody disaster'.
He said it will mean he has lost $100,000 before the business opens its doors.
"We will just have to cop it on the chin and see what happens," Mr Maggio said. "What else can you do?
"Having to open so close to Christmas doesn't give us a chance to get the feel of the business and doesn't give customers a chance to get a feel for the centre.
"The reaction won't be negative but it could be better."
The latest delay is the result of hold-ups to road construction at the intersection of the Pacific Highway and Moonee Beach Road, and the building of a new entrance to Hoys Road.
While the highway changes are likely to be ready next week, work
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EACTIONS to the preferred Pacific Highway route between Macksville and Urunga, as announced by the RTA on Thursday, are predictably mixed.
In Macksville, the preferrred route goes to the east of the town.
For Jacky McLeod it is not good news.
"We are currently building our house in what we thought would be a quiet spot, but now it looks like the new road will be on the other side of our cul-de-sac," Mrs McLeod said.
"I am concerned about how the noise will affect us, but mostly I am unhappy about how we have been treated.
"This is the first we have heard of this.
"We have been kept in the dark."
Another resident, Lisa Hennessey, is thrilled.
"We live right on the highway now, and the noise is horrendous," Mrs Hennessey said.
"Unfortunately that means others will get it."
In Urunga, the preferred route is Option B.
South Arm Road resident Michael Polden lives right in the path of the new road.
"This news is bittersweet," Mr Polden said.
"At least now we know what is happening and can plan accordingly.
"My question now is whether we will be properly compensated for this.
"If people do choose to go, then they should not have to forfeit the removal costs the RTA pays to those forced to move."
His neighbour, Tess Jones, is angry about the decision.
"They have chosen a route that goes through valuable farmland," Mrs Jones said.
"Land we can ill afford to lose. I am also not happy about the millions of taxpayer dollars that will be spent in buying houses and land in this area, when a different route through the forest could have left us alone altogether."
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