Manager of the Empire Hotel John Cattanach is frustrated by what he perceives is a lack of progress on the Upper Mary St Revitalisation Project.
Manager of the Empire Hotel John Cattanach is frustrated by what he perceives is a lack of progress on the Upper Mary St Revitalisation Project.

‘It’s a joke’ : council work continues to frustrate

“IT’S becoming a nightmare. It’s just beyond a joke,” said John Cattanach yesterday, manager of the Empire Hotel.

He’s talking about the $2.4 million Upper Mary Street Revitalisation Project, which was started by the Gympie Regional Council in August last year.

Mr Cattanach says the extensive work being undertaken has taken too long and he is literally tired of the whole project.

“I don’t get to sleep at night,” he said.

Mr Cattanach, who lives above the hotel along with a handful of permanent residents, said the work started very early in the morning and sometimes did not finish before 2am.

“I thought you weren’t supposed to make noise before 7am?” he said.

“I know if I was (making noise), council would be on me like a tonne of bricks.”

The noise is not the only problem.

“People can’t park anywhere because the workmen all have their trucks parked there and this morning I couldn’t open my bloody doors because there was a pile of dirt in the way,” Mr Cattanach said.

He said since the concrete was cut up in front of his hotel in the first week of January the workmen have been “leaning on their diggers” ever since, and he has seen very little progress.

He said he had attempted to contact Gympie Regional Council but had not been able to speak to anyone.

“I’ve spoken to them out the front a number of times,” he said.

“People just aren’t coming in. It’s just an absolute joke.”

A Gympie Regional Council spokeswoman said work was progressing well

“The contractor is planning to pour the new footpath in front of the Empire Hotel early (this) morning and again on Friday morning to best suit the opening hours of the hotel,” she said.

The footpath is expected to be completed this week.

“The contractor began construction on this quadrant of the Upper Mary Street Revitalisation Project on January 6, 2020, and work is progressing well despite last week’s wet weather.

“Council and the construction crew have been providing regular progress updates to all upper Mary Street traders.

“Traders are encouraged to contact the council’s project officers directly if they have any issues or concerns.”