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Open Government in Struggletown?

By studesmac - 30 November 2011 4

I must declare an interest. My wife and I have a shop in Crawford Street Queanbeyan and we are struggling with a marked downturn in business since construction began on Queanbeyan City Council’s Lifestyle Precinct – perhaps not quite Manuka in Queanbeyan, but that’s the general idea.  Unfortunately, since the project began in August, businesses have been under serious pressure with across the board declines in trade of 30% plus with business owners now dubbing the project as the “Nightmare on Crawford Street”.  Business has been critical of QCC’s performance and point to apparent failures in planning, project management and community consultation, and the lack of effective measures to assist ailing businesses.

Partly in response to business concerns – and aren’t there local government elections next year – Mayor Tim Overall has recently trumpeted (through all available media) QCC’s intention to consider an ex gratia payment to affected businesses totalling some $22,000 spread amongst some 12 businesses, a measure widely felt to be way too little and way too late.

Perhaps somewhat churlishly I was prompted to comment on QCC’s facebook that “the scorecard on the project so far was one business closing, 11 jobs lost and hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost trade.  QCC should be accountable and responsible and consider meaningful compensation, not mere tokenism”.  Churlish perhaps but totally accurate.

And then what, I hear you ask?  The facebook post was pulled within the hour because it “attracted unsubstantiated comment which could be construed as exaggerated and misleading”.

So as a Riot Act virgin I am in this forum to try to get some public debate on the goings on in Queanbeyan.

What’s Your opinion?


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4 Responses to
Open Government in Struggletown?
ThatUniStudent 9:27 pm 01 Dec 11

I must declare a lack of interest.
Come on, we all want this Paris end of Queanbeyan to become the cultural and tourist highlight that it surely must be.
Really though it is no secret that thebusinesses there are bleeding. I certinly would not want to be one of the business owners there. 🙁
Yeah, I smell class action. Or the usual answer in Queanbeyan to anything that people want to protest about, ample use of fireworks.

2620watcher 8:14 pm 01 Dec 11

I’d encourage everyone to take a trip down there and pay your favorite shops / restaurant a visit. Punjabi Hut serves the best Indian going around. And the staff at the chemist are always friendly.

EvanJames 4:14 pm 30 Nov 11

The way they shut the whole street down was bound to have people not going there. I’m amazed the downturn is only 30%.They’ve got fences across it, boarding, it looks closed to me.

54-11 3:50 pm 30 Nov 11

I don’t often go to Qbn, but I really felt for all the traders there when I was last in Crawford Street.

The Council appears to have done SFA to help the traders, and the $22k is an insult.

In time, the work will probably be worth it and those traders who survive will eventually get over this painful period. But for those who don’t make it, the ongoing financial effects will always linger.

Good luck, mac. I doubt that your comments will make a jot of difference (they rarely do here in Canberra, either) but you will feel better for at least giving it a go.

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