Mayor Mick Curran
Mayor Mick Curran Patrick Woods

Owners torn as CBD makeover puts pressure on businesses

THE customers are happy, but the shop owners are not quite so unanimous, as Gympie Regional Council enters the mid stages of the Smithfield St revamp project.

"I reckon it'll be great when it's finished," said butcher Ben Brown of Gympie Meat Hall.

But between here and that far off destination, thing are far from perfect.

"The effect it's having on business now is dramatic," he said.

"There's not enough parking and truck drivers are getting booked because there are not enough loading zones.

"We're losing customers already and even though they are raising the street level, they still won't be giving us wheelchair access," he said.

MORE: Not 'Happy Yak' as business melts in heat

Over the road at Panini's Cafe, it was the other side of the argument as well.

Vickie Wickham was delighted.

"It is important and the benefits are going to far outweigh the disadvantages.

"The men have worked very hard at this and I think they've done a fantastic job."

With her front door still readily accessible and plenty of business, she said she could sympathise with the less positive experience of her neighbours at The Happy Yak.

"We're quite happy for their customers to come through our shop on the way there if they feel the walkway is too narrow.

"They are doing a great job and we're looking forward to it.

"It's short term loss for long term gain," she said.

Mayor Mick Curran said the council was investing an enormous amount with the aim of attracting people and supporting businesses.

Gympie Times


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