Local Indigenous health groups have hit out at Woolworths chairman Gordon Cairns' claim a revised site for Dan Murphy's mega-store in Darwin hasn't been met with opposition.
At Woolworths' AGM on Thursday, Mr Cairns revealed its proposed site to build the liquor store had been moved 1.3km further away from three nearby dry communities.
"We have an agreement in principle with our landlord, the Northern Territory's airport, to relocate to an alternative site," he said.
"We understand that all current objectors will not oppose the new location."
The original plan has long attracted the ire of Indigenous health and community groups, who penned an open letter to the company board on Thursday.
Olga Havnen, chief executive of the Danila Dilba Biluru Butji Binnilutlum Health Service, and Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT boss John Paterson were among the signatories.
Following Mr Cairns' speech, the pair shot down his suggestion Aboriginal organisations had been consulted and agreed to the new location.
"Both these statements are misleading," they wrote.
"To be very clear ... we do not support the current proposed location on Bagot Road and Osgood Drive, and we certainly do not support the new location which has only just been revealed.
"While Danila Dilba has indicated that it would not formally object to the proposed new location, they also stated that they do not support the location but would remain neutral."
In a statement, Dan Murphy's parent company Endeavour Group said it had been working closely with Minmarama and Kulaluk community elders and leaders, committing to a number of measures to mitigate risks of alcohol-related harm.
"The new site is further away from local Indigenous communities and we believe the change will help to alleviate some of the key concerns," general manager of corporate service Shane Tremble said.
The original proposal was rejected by the independent Liquor Commission last September, but the NT government introduced legislation on Wednesday that could pave the way for the application to be approved within 30 days if passed.
Endeavour Group said it has been in ongoing talks with the NT government to possibly move the proposed site following "community feedback".
The new proposed site, between McMillans Road and Osgood Drive, remains part of the planned Darwin Airport retail precinct.
If approved, the store could be operating within 12 months.
Australian Associated Press
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