Don’t let retail centre die
- John Starritt, Shepparton
As a former retailer in the central business district, I would like to think the mayor’s optimism about its future is justified, but the reality is, it is just not what it used to be and therefore needs all the help it can get.
Free parking is not the panacea that will solve all the problems, but it will help, and if it has to be subsidised by ratepayers then so be it because at least we all use the CBD retail precinct.
If council can find $5 million to cover the extra costs for the art centre from a ‘‘budgetary allowance’’, surely it can find money to help the major commercial activities in Shepparton, which everybody uses, to survive.
How much do we subsidise the current art centre, or for instance all the swimming pools in the Greater Shepparton area that are only used by a small percentage of the population.
It is obvious we have to do something about the mall to create some life and to give it some activity, and tinkering around the edges will achieve nothing.
Slow-moving traffic and limited parking would help to achieve this and give better shopper access.
Council can’t let the CBD die as has happened in some rural cities, so let’s try to find a ‘‘budgetary allowance’’ to help the retailers in the CBD.