Traders: main street upgrade worry

AIRLIE Beach main street traders are worried they will cop another blow when the main street upgrade development starts in July.

They spoke at a traders association meeting last month wondering how the construction would take place and why it needed to happen during their peak season.

They said they hoped council would let them know how their business would be affected well before construction started.

Amazing Place owner Kerry Aspland said she was worried about the development starting in July.

“I think it is absolutely absurd that we finally start our peak season and they want to start work,” she said.

“The most crucial part [of business] is pedestrian traffic. “If they can't do this properly that will be the nail in our coffin.

“If we don't get a decent season it will be the death of us.”

But Council chief executive John Finlay said communication would be the key to a successful upgrade.

Mr Finlay met with Townsville Council last month to get some hints on how they approached the construction of their mall.

He said it was essential to make sure tenants and landlords were fully informed on the project before and during the development.

They were also looking at securing a shop front to have a council officer in the street to offer advice to tourists and operators during construction.

“There is going to be some inconvenience but there is going to be a lot of positives,” he said.

“We are envisaging having someone [in the main street] all the time.”

Council is yet to set a timetable for construction but Mr Finlay said it would happen once the designs were finalised.

He said the project would be broken up into different sections but they “haven't worked out that detail yet.”

The main street face lift will happen in stages but once complete should see a more pedestrian friendly main street, a greener environment and re-directed traffic via Waterson Way.


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