Mareeba Business owners are not happy with the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) after what they claim is a lack of consultation from the TMR in regards to their plan to remove the roundabout on the corner of Byrnes and Rankin streets in and install traffic lights.
Kaycie McPherson from McPherson’s Family Bakery said that TMR has left many local business owners in the dark. “TMR can’t tell us how many car spots are going to be taken up during these road works. One minute they’re saying none, then next minute only the middle car parks and now they are saying most of the car parks out front of my shop will be taken up”
“In 2018 there were pipework’s out front of our business and that cost us over $2000 dollars a day in wasted goods”
Norma Moloney principal at Ray white Mareeba also says that a lack of consultation from TMR is a major problem “We received a very vague letter dated 9 January, telling us there’s going to be Roadwork’s starting on February 2, but it’s light on details. It says that there may be times when access to the businesses adjacent to the works will be temporarily restricted, but it doesn’t tell us when or how long for”
According to TMR, the $3.47 million dollar project will remove the existing roundabout at the Byrnes Street and Rankin Street intersection, installing traffic signals to improve safety for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. Weather permitting works are expected to be completed in May 2020.
This is not something that Kaycie McPherson wants to hear “When they say weather permitting why are they working in the middle of the wet season? Everybody knows February is the wettest month, this is going to take way longer than 4 months”
Kaycie said at a meeting on Wednesday at McPherson’s bakery representatives from TMR couldn’t answer basic questions “They couldn’t even tell me specifically which car spots would be removed or for how long”
Norma said in the meeting TMR staff were very unprepared “They couldn’t even answer basic questions about car parks, they lacked information and they came with a bad attitude”
Rebel who owns Laura Louise Vintage Collectables (The fairy Shop) said her landlord didn’t even know about the road works until a building inspector came “A guy turned up looking for cracks in the building, saying he was checking on buildings that were going to be affected by the road works”
“That’s when we contacted our landlord who didn’t know anything either, TMR has not been in contact with anyone.”
TMR representative Hilary Woodman claimed at the meeting that local businesses were door knocked and told about the upcoming roadwork’s, but couldn’t quote names or numbers when asked by The Express.
It’s something that both Norma and Kaycie disagree with “they say they door knocked but we can find only one other business who they met with until I rang them up for this meeting.”
‘We are not against the lights going in, we’re just worried about the road works, the lack of consultation and planning and how this is going to affect businesses in town” Kaycie Said
The Express has asked TMR for a response.