An attempt to block construction of Apple’s “global flagship” Apple Store in Melbourne, Australia has failed in Australian parliament.
Brought by the Australian Green Party, the attempt to block the building of the new Apple Store in Federation Square claimed that the government was putting corporate interests ahead of those of the public.
The plans have already prompted criticism from some Melbourne residents, who say that opening an Apple Store in the square represents commercialization of a space that should be use for public events and cultural institutions like the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the National Gallery of Victoria.
The space has also been previously used for public vigils and protests. More than 95,000 people have signed three separate online petitions asking the government to reverse its decision.
Apple’s new store down under
The Australian Andres government has been in negotiation with Apple for two years concerning the site, although it kept these talks secret until the project was officially confirmed just before Christmas. Officials hope that the new global flagship store will attract an extra two million people every year once it opens its doors in 2020.
In addition, the government points out that the two-storey building will improve access between the square and the Yarra River waterfront, bring in some much needed profit for Federation Square, and create 250 construction jobs and 200 ongoing jobs in the process.
The Greens’ attempt to block the new retail store was defeated by 34 votes to four, as Labor, the Coalition and the cross-bench combined to vote it down. Hopefully this will mark the end of the protests, and construction on Apple’s new Melbourne store will be able to continue unimpeded.