The first thing to do is to recognise the problem
EDITORIAL: I once worked with a man who would not recognise that he had a problem.
The problem (alcohol addiction) affected many people and killed him in the end. It didn't have to be that way.
The first steps in solving a problem have to be recognition of its existence, assessment of its scale and belief that it can be solved.
That is why the disturbing number of empty shopfronts in Maryborough is not going to be fatal for the city.
There is broad and rational recognition of the problem, in government, business and the community.
The scale is evident and belief in a solution is growing.
The council is backing its Imagine this City project to the tune of more than $3 million.
Mayor Gerard O'Connell speaks of the enormous potential for boutique and specialist-store shopping in the CBD.
Enterprising young business people are already taking action.
Take Emily Bundellu, who saw an opportunity to target young women shoppers with a funky store on Kent St among the coffee shops of the CBD.
Or Andrew and Corrina Ross, who are developing ideas after snapping up the historic Commonwealth Bank building.
More will follow.
Watch this space, Fraser Coasters.
There's life in the old girl yet.