Timing wrong for Woodlark facelift
SHOPOWNERS in Lismore’s Woodlark Street reckon there’s nothing too beaut about the timing of the beautification project outside their front doors.
They say the works are keeping post-Christmas shoppers away in droves, and causing as much as a 50 per cent drop in turnover for the key sales period.
Yesterday, Pia White, of the Birdscage dress shop, said trade was more quiet than it had been ‘for ages’.
Another retailer said while she was delighted the work was being done, the timing was disastrous, as it meant shops were missing out on all the tourist dollars.
David Hudson, owner of the Cosmetic Shop, said Saturday morning trade was down by 50 per cent and he understood some shops were going to close on Saturdays until the work was over.
Lismore City Council’s executive director for infrastructure services, Garry Hemsworth, said his understanding was that retailer feedback indicated January was the best time of the year for such works.
“We conducted extensive consultation with retailers, including public meetings, and received no negative feedback,” he said.
But Mr Hudson said: “No retailer in this street I’ve spoken to – and I talk to a lot of people – was consulted about the timing for this. “It’s tough enough as it is around town.”
He was going to write to Page MP Janelle Saffin to ask that retailers be allowed to defer their December BAS for six months.
However, Mr Hudson said the new amenities, such as timber bollards, a water-bottle filling point and better seating, were ‘terrific’.
For real estate agent Robert McLennan, January is the peak time for sales. “The timing is inappropriate,” he said.