Supermarket boss slams council, chamber over carpark
NOW I have heard everything! The Maclean business community being blamed for not being prepared for the closure of more than half the main car park in the CBD.
Considering most people were under the impression that IGA had swapped the 'Green Space' with the front part of the car park, I find it ludicrous that the Chamber of Commerce and Clarence Valley Council expected everyone to be 'better prepared'.
The blame should lie at the feet of the council and the chamber for not sitting down with the retailers in the CBD and laying out exactly what was going to happen, so that we all had a chance to 'prepare ourselves' for what was coming.
Unfortunately, most of us don't have the time to sit down and read through all the fine print associated with a development application in council.
Sorry, this has nothing to do with preparing for IGA coming to town. This is about the loss of 162 car parking spaces for almost 12 months.
There is only one business that can be accused of 'lack of preparation' for this abomination, and that is Clarence Valley Council.
By their own admission, they have known all along that this was going to happen and their answer is 'We need a little pain for a lot of gain'.
Already businesses in the CBD are experiencing a significant downturn in sales as a result of the car park being closed and, no, this is not an exaggeration on their behalf. I have plenty of facts to support their claims if needed.
This has the potential for significant job losses in this town, as this is not 'short-term pain'.
It is just under 12 months of 'agony' for Maclean and that's if IGA finishes on time.
How can it be that a business can come into a town and build a 2000-square metre supermarket and not provide one extra car park?
Don't anyone go saying that they are providing car parks in front and to the side of the new supermarket. Those carparks have always been there and were purchased by IGA as a car park.
Every one of those spaces should be replaced, but they are not.
Every extra car park in the CBD has been paid for by the Clarence Valley Council. The Argyle St car park cost ratepayers $1.3 million and I don't know how much the library spaces cost.
All business people and staff have been told to park in the backstreets of Maclean. That's fine, but be warned, if I hear of one person associated with the supermarket construction parking in any of the car parks and not in their 'compound', there will be hell to pay!
There is only one issue that I have fought with council over in relation to the IGA development, and that is parking or lack of it.
Clearly, everything I have said has fallen on deaf ears.