Upper Mary St.
Upper Mary St.

‘Council should compensate Upper Mary St businesses’

GYMPIE Chamber of Commerce president Tony Goodman says Gympie Regional Council should provide “some sort of compensation” for business owners hurt by ongoing Upper Mary St project delays.

Multiple traders have already gone public with their battles to stay afloat since the CBD’s revitalisation project commenced in August.

Embattled Upper Mary St traders hold grave fears

Emilia’s Cafe owner Jodi Giorno said she had been forced to make significant cuts to staff hours because of a significant dive in customer numbers, while Stacey Edwards of Memphis Barbers said her clientele had been half of what it usually is since the project moved outside her shopfront.

Gympie Chamber of Commerce president Tony Goodman.
Gympie Chamber of Commerce president Tony Goodman.

Mr Goodman, also a Mary St trader with his Homewares store Bella Casa, said he “really felt” for those feeling the strain.

“I would certainly hate to have that sort of thing happening out where we are, there should be some form of compensation there but I don’t think that would happen. In fact I’m sure that it wouldn’t happen,” he said.

“I completely feel for them, being a retailer myself, it can be a make or break.

“There should be some form of compensation there, but I really don’t see that happening. I would like the council to have a really hard look at that.

“What’s happening up there is more than gritting your teeth, it’s more like a sledgehammer. And there’s nothing you can do about it unless there’s some form of compensation.”

A spokeswoman for the council said stakeholder updates will be hand-delivered to all traders at the end and beginning of each “phase” of the project.

The spokeswoman said “more unexpected works have been uncovered by construction crews” with Phase 2A, which was originally marked for completion by “mid November” according to the last stakeholder update.

She said “some construction works” in Phases 2B and 3 will not be complete by the time construction is scaled down on December 16.