Ghost Hill roadworks leave businesses hanging by a thread
THE continuous roadworks around Ghost Hill are leaving five independent stores in Kawungan Plaza hanging by a thread.
Lita and Rod Harrison from the Kawungan mini-mart have watched their customer numbers drop by 50 to 60 every day since the latest roadworks on Main St began in April.
She said each month the store spent about $8000 on rent and electricity alone, and with the drop in business, those bills were getting harder and harder to pay.
"Some days we would only make between $800 and $1000," Lita said.
"For an independent store like us, it's barely enough to make ends meet."
Lita said in the past nine years that she and her husband had run and owned the store, there had been roadworks on and off in the area for seven of those years.
Dale Newberry from Kawungan Quality Meats agreed there had been at least seven years of works in the past decade alone.
Dale said a major part of the problem was the temporary detour, which bypassed the plaza completely.
Kawungan Bakery owner Kevin Cairns said that coming into winter, this should be the busiest time of the year for him.
"It used to be that at 6am, the car park was full of tradies and people getting their bread or whatever before work.
"But the car park looks pretty empty to me," Kevin said.
A response from the Fraser Coast Regional Council said the works had to be done to move a major water main from the Ghost Hill reservoir in preparation for future works including a re-surfacing and widening of the old 800m stretch of road.
The council said it organ- ised to have 'Kawungan Shops open' displayed on the electronic message boards which are alerting motorists of the roadworks.