QUEEN ST’S UP­HILL BAT­TLE

Re­cently ren­o­vated Queen St has at­tracted more ma­li­cious dam­age and thieves

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Danielle Jarvis

QUEEN St’s makeover has re­ceived mixed re­views and been tar­nished by re­ports of van­dal­ism and plant theft.

In its plan to give the St Marys main street a facelift, Pen­rith Coun­cil placed bolted-down planter boxes with flow­ers, but shop­keep­ers claim teenage van­dals keep steal­ing them.

“They do have plants but some of the kids are very naughty and they pull them out,” Kim Ha from A W Fab­rics said.

“When they first put them in I loved it, but it’s gone now be­cause the kids keep pulling them out. I hope they put new ones in.”

A coun­cil spokesman said in­stead of flow­ers, the coun­cil planned to put grass and hedges that were more de­vel­oped and less likely to be van­dalised or stolen.

“Theft and van­dal­ism has re­sulted in coun­cil’s ap­proach be­ing al­tered,” the spokesman said. “We will be plant­ing a range of grasses and hedges to pro­vide colour to the streetscape.”

Nisha Sweeten, the owner of Princess Nisha’s Kitchen, said she was not happy with how long it had taken to get the job done.

“I’m happy with the re­sults but not 100 per cent,” she said. “Our front is all done but still needs a lot more work to be done.”

Ian and Diane Shel­ley from Hobby Pro said all the trou­ble for the ren­o­va­tion was worth it.

“I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to it be­ing fin­ished be­cause I think it’s go­ing to look re­ally nice,” Mrs Shel­ley said.

Mr Shel­ley agreed, say­ing: “It will high­light the town.”

Cornerstone Diner owner Michelle Lozano was dis­ap­pointed with the patch of dirt out­side her shop which she un­der­stood was to be­come a garden.

When they first put (flow­ers) in I loved it, but it’s gone now be­cause the kids keep pulling them out

“They said they would put a lit­tle garden in this lit­tle patch here,” Ms Lozano said.

But the coun­cil spokesman as­sured the ground work for the garden would be “un­der­taken in the com­ing weeks as will ir­ri­ga­tion to the small garden beds near the cross­ing”.

He con­firmed the works started by the pre­vi­ous con­trac­tor would be com­pleted by Christ­mas and the re­main­ing ren­o­va­tion up to King St on the east­ern side will be com­menced by a new con­trac­tor in the sec­ond quar­ter 2017.

Kim Ha

Nisha Sweeten (top) is one of the Queen St busi­ness own­ers up­set about the slow pace of the up­grades. Main pic­ture: Carmela Roche

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