Town Square redevelopment work impacts CWA and nearby businesses

Impacted: Margaret Oswald encourages people to support the CWA tea rooms during the Town Square redevelopment. Photo: Matt Attard
Impacted: Margaret Oswald encourages people to support the CWA tea rooms during the Town Square redevelopment. Photo: Matt Attard

TAKINGS at the CWA tea rooms have halved amid the Town Square redevelopment.

That means the Port Macquarie CWA Branch will have less money to inject into the community.

The tea rooms remain open for business.

Port Macquarie CWA Branch life member Margaret Oswald said the Town Square redevelopment work had resulted in a vast impact on the branch’s income.

There is less foot traffic past the tea rooms.

“They don’t want to walk down there not knowing if we are open or not,” Mrs Oswald said.

The branch’s elderly members are finding access difficult and some regular bookings have cancelled.

Off the Hook Fish and Chips owner Paul Walsh said his business had felt a massive impact.

“I’m extremely worried,” he said.

Mr Walsh said it might not look like the businesses are open but they are most definitely still there.

Baskin-Robbins franchisee Beau Farrell said trade was down about 50 per cent.

The business has delayed a refurbishment.

“But it’s good for the town and us in the long run,” he said about the Town Square.

“I’m willing to roll with it.”

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council acting director infrastructure Andrew Doig said work to transform the Port Macquarie Town Square into a vibrant, useable and accessible gathering space was on track. Trees, gutters and old road surfacing have been removed.

Work started this week on new footpaths. Pedestrian access will be maintained as the project starts to take shape.

Mr Doig said the council continued to work with businesses in the Town Square on a daily basis to ensure they were well informed on the progress of the works and to help minimise disruption.

“Fence signage has been installed at the site, and an electronic billboard has been placed on Clarence Street to advise the community that businesses in the Town Square can be accessed and remain open for business,” he said.

Mr Doig said the council thanked businesses and locals for their patience and understanding.

Chop ‘n Chill proprietor Jacqui Cudmore said the business, which has been open seven months, had a 35 per cent-plus drop since the redevelopment work started.

Trade has improved during the school holidays.

“We are going to get through this but it will certainly help with local support,” she said.

Mrs Cudmore said the council’s intention with the project was brilliant.

Blue Illusion Port Macquarie’s Marina Boros said the redevelopment work had presented a very challenging work environment.

She said with the hard work and dedication of our staff, they softened the impact of the construction and really looked forward to its completion.