Lismore seen as regional hub
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
AMBER HALL sees Lismore as the centre of a commercial wheel, with surrounding towns being at the end of its spokes.
The new manager of Lismore Unlimited Opportunities wants the city to maintain its role as the business hub of the Northern Rivers and make the most of its central location.
"Geographically Lismore is the heart of the region, and it can capitalise on its strength as the service centre," she said.
"We need to think regionally. Businesses don't do deals within their local government area, they do them regionally."
The 31-year-old's other vision for Lismore is for it to become renowned as a creative hive, buzzing with artists, musicians, filmmakers and general innovators.
She said Lismore already had one of the largest numbers of creatives in regional Australia.
"That's what projects like Art in the Heart, the laneways project and riverbank development are all about ? building creative precincts," she said.
The former consultant was working on the laneways project long before she snagged the top job at LUO.
So, it came as no surprise when she listed the initiative as one of the projects destined to change Lismore for the better.
"We can do it better than Melbourne," she said.
"The laneways project has the potential to boost Lismore's nightlife if businesses do what The Loft (restaurant) did and open their doors.
"It's about businesses taking initiative and working together."
Ms Hall said her agenda included convincing CBD retailers to open Saturday afternoons and Sundays, capitalising on events such as the annual lantern parade and tapping into the university student market.