The new committee formed to help move Mary Street forward (from left) Warrick Hosking, Alissa Corbet, Andrew Smith and Ron Dyne.
The new committee formed to help move Mary Street forward (from left) Warrick Hosking, Alissa Corbet, Andrew Smith and Ron Dyne.

CBD safety call

SAFETY issues were high on a list of concerns voiced by Gympie’s main street business owners at a forum aimed at revitalising Mary Street in the Civic Centre on Tuesday night.

“What happens if someone falls over and smashes their face?” Elly Walton asked. The Shoenique owner was worried about uneven pavers outside her store that could cause someone to trip and hurt themselves.

In response, Gympie Mayor Ron Dyne quipped if someone were to fall they could put an application in through council’s public liability insurance.

The informal open discussion attracted about 60 business owners, along with nearly all Gympie Regional councillors to voice concerns and suggestions about Mary Street’s future.

Having so many of the street’s business owners together in the one room was unheard of, Mrs Walton said, with only about six people turning out for previous meetings.

Opening the discussion, Cr Dyne told business owners they could have “their two bob’s worth” but reminded them there wasn’t “a big bag of gold” to implement all their ideas.

Forum instigator Warrick Hosking, from Connolly’s News, said his main concern was with skate boarders and bike riders using Mary Street footpaths as a thoroughfare.

SOMETHING needed to be done to stop the skateboarders and bike riders, Mr Hosking said. He suggested getting tougher by taking the boards and bikes away.

He said if an elderly customer was knocked over by a skateboarder “it could kill them”.

That sentiment was backed up by most in the room, but the main issues were car parks and business turnover.

“Mary Street should be the hub of the community,” Mr Hosking said. “It has to make a statement”.

“In the last 12 months I don’t consider we’ve had a recession, we’re having it now.”

Mr Hosking said Mary Street needed to be cleaned up with two-hour parking spaces cut back to one hour.

Mr Hosking was joined by Alissa Corbet and Andrew Smith to form a new committee with Cr Dyne to help move forward plans for Mary Street. The next meeting is September 14.


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