More inner-city living the key to reinvigorating CBD
I refer to the article “Reduced rent and rates could attract business to ailing area” (Bendigo Advertiser, February 15).
There are regular calls for improved foot traffic through council-led community events to attract customers and businesses to the area.
I continue to be baffled that more than 80 per cent of the existing Hargreaves Mall businesses choose to not open after hours on the evenings when the monthly Moonlight Market is on and there are thousands of people packed into the mall.
Furthermore, I personally have never been on the receiving end of, or witnessed any, significant anti-social behaviour and I do not feel threatened to be in the mall at any time of the day or night – but I support a strong police and public presence.
What I believe we need to rejuvenate our Hargreaves Mall and the central city area is significantly increased residential city living combined with great bars, cafes and restaurants with temporary outdoor seating areas extending into the open mall areas.
Get new great food, beverage and entertainment venues into the mall and people will come day and night.
Council should review current rules to enable this.
Furthermore, we need a comprehensive network of protected bicycle lanes throughout the CBD and wider Bendigo.
Experience throughout the world indicates the great successes of building spaces for “people”.
Council’s public space strategy should focus greatly on this.
Furthermore, walkers and cyclists statistically spend longer in the shopping area and spend approximately 50 per cent more money than those who have driven – significantly increasing walkers and cyclists would be a win for our current and future city centre area traders and our great city.
Chris Corr, Bendigo
Energy claim flies in face of available evidence
Recently a claim was made that South Australia had got it's energy mix about right.
How could such a claim be made given that state’s record number of power outages since the closure of its last coal-fired power station?
Not only outages, but record power prices to go with that inconvenience.
An independent supermarket chain employing 6000 people is having to lay off staff because it is facing a 50 per cent rise in electricity charges.
This is after they had to install larger diesel generators to enable them to operate and keep food fresh during these unpredictable outages.
A pharmaceutical manufacturer is leaving the state, putting 89 people out of work, and scrapping a $21 million expansion.
An exporter of plastic pipe fittings have had their power prices double in two years, putting the jobs of 300 employees and an expansion in jeopardy because of an energy mix someone claims "is about right".
It may be "about right” if you do not want stable employment, run a business or want to cook your dinner and eat it with the lights and air conditioner on.
The must-have essential for every home in South Australia to have now is a power generator, so how can the state’s power mix be about right?
Labor leaders tell us ad nauseam that they are all for working families.
How can that be so when they are set on increasing the cost of a basic commodity and at the same time make it unreliable.
South Australia has the highest rate of unemployment and the highest power prices in the nation.
It seems our Labor leaders are in a competition with each other to see which state can raise power prices higher, and lower living standards faster than the other.
David Arscott, Kangaroo Flat
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