Not an op­tion for coun­cil not to do any­thing in CBD: Project boss

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THE di­ver­sity of com­mu­nity and trader opin­ions re­gard­ing the pro­posed CBD re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion was again ev­i­dent at three con­sul­ta­tion days or­gan­ised by Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil last week.

Project man­ager Dwayne Honor said about 120 peo­ple, in­clud­ing a strong trader rep­re­sen­ta­tion, had at­tended the con­sul­ta­tion ses­sions.

“The ses­sions were very use­ful es­pe­cially from the point of view of clar­i­fy­ing mis­con­cep­tions peo­ple hold in re­gards to the project,” Mr Honor said.

“There still many peo­ple who be­lieve the project in­volves the cre­ation of a mall. This is cer­tainly not the case.

“The pre­vi­ously ex­pressed con­cerns from traders that con­struc­tion would im­pact the vi­a­bil­ity of their busi­nesses was also raised again.

“Coun­cil has re-scoped the project to in­cor­po­rate sig­nif­i­cant con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity at night and with an un­der­stand­ing that shopfronts will be ac­ces­si­ble dur­ing day­light trad­ing hours.

“There is also a strong view that coun­cil needs to ad­dress off-street park­ing is­sues prior to com­menc­ing any re­de­vel­op­ment of the CBD. The fund­ing and pro­posed project com­mence­ment date are other is­sues that need clar­i­fy­ing.

“Coun­cil has con­sis­tently said the project will not com­mence prior to 2020 and af­ter fund­ing has been se­cured.”

This pro­posed 2020 time­line is premised on a num­ber of fac­tors in­clud­ing:

The con­sul­ta­tion feed­back is to be as­sessed and, where ap­pro­pri­ate, added to the fi­nal de­sign con­cept

The coun­cil needs to se­cure fund­ing for the project with equal con­tri­bu­tions from state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments

Fi­nal­i­sa­tion of an eco­nomic strat­egy in re­la­tion to the CBD precinct

Con­struc­tion im­pacts will be man­aged in con­sul­ta­tion with traders once project fund­ing has been se­cured and a con­trac­tor has been en­gaged. The coun­cil ex­pects to pro­vide six months’ no­tice to traders on con­struc­tion start dates.

“The con­sul­ta­tion days did pro­duce feed­back sup­port­ing the project with many peo­ple of the view that it was not an op­tion for the Coun­cil to do noth­ing and that the re­gion would ben­e­fit through its shop­ping heart be­ing rein­vig­o­rated,” Mr Honor said.

“Coun­cil needs to have this project shovel ready to se­cure fund­ing and en­sure the project is ready to com­mence.”

PROJECT MAN­AGER: coun­cil’s Dwayne Honor. The

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