TWEED SHIRE Council candidate Pryce Allsop says Murwillumbah’s CBD is in “desperate need of an overhaul” and he’s vowed to make it his top priority if elected on October 29.
Mr Allsop said the Murwillumbah CBD and main street were not lacking shops, car parks or a facelift – “it’s lacking leadership,” he said.
“The heart of the town is desperate for an overhaul and everyone is too busy pointing the finger at different groups to start the process themselves.
“Tenants want action from landlords, landlords want action from Tweed Shire Council and Council wants action from the business community.
“I’m happy to lead the charge on behalf of everyone and if I’m elected to Council it will be one of my main priorities.”
Mr Allsop said the main street needs to be a destination where shoppers and visitors can spend time, relax and want to come back again.
“The first place we need to start is parking,” he said.
“Behind price the second biggest reason shoppers shop where they do is accessibility and quite simply there just aren’t enough car parks in the main street.
“The solution is to make the main street one way and create angle parking on both sides of the street.
“Not only have you created an extra 60 additional parking bays but if done correctly could be mixed with outside dining areas for our cafes and hotels.
“Include garden beds and art displays and the town centre would be transformed into a real destination night and day. Our beautiful art deco buildings should be retained and enhanced. The State Government and Heritage Council should be lobbied for financial incentives to landlords prepared to restore buildings back to their glory.
“Diversification of tenants is also required. Department stores, clothes stores, electrical stores, specialty stores etc.
“All are needed to make the shopping experience more robust. Landlords could offer short term rent incentives for tenants fitting the right criteria.
“And of course Council should be waiving any costs for new businesses taking up residence in the CBD – in particular the outrageous charge for car parks that already exist.
“I realise there’s a cost to do this from all parties but it’s short term. Long term we are left with a vibrant town centre which creates a magnetic attraction for residents and tourists.
“Unfortunately the cost of doing nothing is something the CBD and Murwillumbah can’t afford.”
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