The Beagle Editor,
I recently heard the Mayor of Eurobodalla on the radio saying that Council are developing a CBD plan. There is much talk about the development of the foreshore of Clyde Street and there has been millions spent on the street scaping of Clyde Street, North Street and Orient Street North. With respect to Council town planners they might have the ability to draw up plans showing green spaces and pedestrian flows and give artists impressions of how things might look but they are not business people and have no idea about designing a business precinct that actually benefits those who have invested in businesses. We all know that Council took far too long with the street scaping works in the Bay and as a result there were businesses who just couldn't carry their losses any more and closed their doors. Look around the CBD and you will see a plethora of empty shops. Of more immediate concern is the closure of Good Reads in the mall and Vaemp in North Street. In April Target closes their doors as well. Council town planners, either by intention or otherwise have created two distinct precincts in the Bay separated by Beach Road. The northern precinct has parking, open spaces, plazas, bus stops and vegetation. My question is what are they doing about the southern end of Orient Street?
A big budget has been spent to make the northern side of Beach Road attractive and welcoming however if you look down towards the southern end it looks third world. The street scape is crap and footpaths are appalling in terms of broken condition, changes in levels, holes/dips and and array of bitumen, concrete and pavers.
While they may give attention to the other side of the tracks the southern end of Orient Street is home to major businesses including Toyota/Hyundai, NAB, Target, NRMA, Supercheap Auto, Autohaus Select Cars, Hertz, Harvey Norman and in the approved new site for major building for Big W Group being Dan Murphy Cellars.
Other business in the southern end include One Life Gym,Rug World, Fairfax Media/Baypost, Charlies Tackle World, Compleat Angler, St Vinnies, 2 Hairdresser, Connells Bakery, 3 Food/Coffee outlets and 3 Employment Agencies,
Offices in the street cover Service NSW, legal, accounting, construction and therapies not to mention it is main street access to Baylink Offices. Go for a walk down there sometime.
If Council bothered to add up the financial turnover of this precinct they might find it to be in the millions and with the expansion of the precinct along the Old Highway further south the precinct would easily employ as many people as the northern section. Yet the southern end gets little if any attention. Look at the photos. The area looks like a ghetto. How about some plants, How about picking a surface and sticking with it - pavers, slabs, hotmix... just make up your minds.
This year there is only $33,572 allocated to footpaths in Batemans Bay CBD and it is very evident that the money must have been spent in the northern section because there is bugger all in the way of footpath work in the south. It really is time for Council to take a very serious look at their priorities. All the effort in the north is for tourism but the working heart of the town is in the south away from the fluff and mirrors. Where are our carparks, where are our trees (other than Flora Cres) and where the hell are our rates being spent because they aren't coming back to the southern end of town. Where are the Council 'Town Planners' in fact. Do they even exist?
Name and Address supplied as we have a DA pending with Council