WE NEED A STRONG AND VIBRANT CBD
I read with interest Jenny Houlihan’s comments in regard to the re-opening of the mall to one way traffic.
I note that she has totally disregarded the comments of business owners in the mall and also their evidence gathered over many years, that the mall as it stands is well and truly passed its use by date. I was also very interested to read that she noted that many had been in business for decades and if they weren’t able to make a living they would be out of there. I wish to point out that over the years there has been many businesses who have closed up shop as the foot traffic wasn’t there. Shops where these businesses were are still vacant – I suggest Jenny should walk through the mall and check on the empty shops – a mass exodus has happened and maybe there are more that are thinking of going.
I also agree with Shepparton Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, Leanne Hulm that the mall has had a long history of debate with regard to the merits of opening or not. The council is of the opinion that it isn’t broken so we won’t fix it. The Commercial Activity Centres Strategy report after much consultation, has suggested that the mall needs fixing and some ways to go about this.
We need a strong and vibrant CBD if we are to have a strong and vibrant city and as the mall is integral to this we need to fix it before it is too late.
How people forget. Some two decades or more ago when the Maude Street Mall was built it had problems from the word go.
The first complaints were the concrete was causing such a glare in Summer – further work was required. It used to have water features near Identity (shop) and the cinema for people to throw cigarette buts in or urinate in after midnight on a Friday or Saturday. A children’s playground with (shock proof) tiles that had to be replaced which were expensive. The elderly felt access, regarding having to walk too far, and the list of waste and complaints over the decades have multiplied like bacteria.
It’s a white elephant. We have seen various upgrades (renovations) plus CCTV which all come at cost to the ratepayer ie. middle class income earners. International research shows (two) decades ago that malls are a haven for loitering, anti-social behaviour and crime. Yet Greater Shepparton City Council went ahead. They were even touted a failure in Queensland prior to it being built.
$4M to open the mall up vs $42M for SAM. It shows the council remain out of touch with the community.
The demographics of people in Shepparton having trouble with employment, early teen pregnancy, living below the poverty line, limited access to education and a gambit of health problems won’t be able to afford tickets for Caravaggio’s artworks for touring regional Victoria. Champagne ideology with bad results.