Cafe owners aggrieved

By GLEN PORTEOUSglenp@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org

"WE are concerned about the lack of communication from the council,'' was the grievance made by John and Sharron Phillips, leasees of DJ's Cafe.

John Phillips has been managing and leasing the cafe for 14 months and has encountered difficulties with trade since work on the Library Square redevelopment commenced.

"I have been working there at the cafe for eight years, managing for five years and currently leasing the cafe for the past 14 months,'' Mr Phillips said.

One of the biggest concerns faced by John and Sharron has been a major reduction in trade.

"We have had almost a drop of two thirds in our trade, which amounts from taking about $15,000 a week to around $5000 a week,'' Mr Phillips said.

Another concern raised was the cut to gas and water that has happened over several months.

"We have had gas and water shut down on us without warning and it caused problems with our customers and loss of trade,'' Mr Phillips said.

Another businessman who has raised issues about the redevelopment was Darin Dittman from Dittman and Associates. He was concerned about a business that had to move.

"A retail business needed to move from Library Square because they said it was no longer sustainable to operate due to the decrease in trade during project construction,'' Mr Dittman said.

A council spokesperson said a couple of incidents that had happened were beyond their control.

"There was some excavation work with water pipes and gas lines. We didn't know they were there and the accidents happened, however they were fixed as quickly as possible,'' the council spokesperson said.

If anyone has any issues they are encouraged to contact the council.

"If anybody feels they have an issue or are entitled to recompense, they should put it in writing to us,'' the spokesperson said.

The Phillips' said they were not against the redevelopment, they just wanted better communication from the council.

"The redevelopment will be good when completed, we just want better communication with the council,'' Mr Phillips said.



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