M'boro business owners worried they'll go broke
BUSINESS owners in Maryborough are worried shoppers won't be able to access their stores and a lack of business will force them to close during the Imagine this City development.
A tender process is under way for the $3.2 million program driven by councillor Daniel Sanderson and designed to revitalise the worn central business district.
Phase one of the program involves removing the footpath pavers and replacing them with exposed aggregate, minor drainage upgrades and the addition of street furniture and streetscaping.
But several business owners on Adelaide St have spoken about the lack of detailed information provided by the council on the 32-week project.
"Everything we talked about isn't exactly what's to be," she said.
"In the (information session) meeting we talked about statues and artworks - something different to bring people to the area."
Ms Davidson predicts the Maryborough CBD will have another empty business if shoppers are impacted by the closure.
"I will probably go under," she said.
And with the Heritage Markets moving to the McDowell car park on Kent St until the work is completed, Ms Davidson is worried the lack of foot traffic will send her broke.
"I triple my trade on market day and that pays my rent," she said.
She said the bigger retailers would be the only ones around to take advantage of the potential increase in traffic and acknowledged "a lot of us little ones won't".
Cr Sanderson was again defending the strategy, pledging "minimal disruption" to businesses.
"It will be undertaken in sections so that only a small part of the footpaths will be affected at any one time," he said.
Only a few doors away from Ms Davidson, Jenny Hyland owns boutique clothing store Coconuts.
She described the strategy as "ridiculous" and said a bigger issue was the lack of parking in the CBD.
"You walk down the street, there's nothing wrong with those footpaths," she said.
"My mum's not going into the CBD because it's got new footpaths.
"She avoids the CBD like the plague because she can't get a park."