Cafe owner ’in the dark’ about Auckland Hill beautification
Outlook Cafe owner Bill Fawzi is still waiting to discover the impact that beautifying Auckland Hill will have on his popular cafe.
On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Federal Minister for Gladstone Ken O’Dowd announced $5 million toward beautifying Auckland Hill and linking the area with the East Shores waterfront precinct.
As a condition of the funding, Gladstone Ports Corporation will match the $5 million in funding for the project, as Gladstone Regional Council is transferring custodianship of the land to the port.
Mr Fawzi said he was still to receive answers from Gladstone Ports Corporation or council about the future of his cafe, for which he has a four-year lease.
“Nobody has been to see me about what’s going on,” he said.
“I’ve been left in the dark.”
Part of the beautification work planned includes upgrading parking at Auckland Hill.
Mr Fawzi said it would be great for his business to have more car parks, as many customers drove past when they could not park and come to the cafe.
He is concerned how the beautification works will impact his business and says he wants answers.
“I don’t think people are going to want to come up here if there are excavators operating and it is like a dust bowl,” he said.
Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett said the Outlook Cafe would remain at the top of Auckland Hill.
“We are in the process of transferring the land to the ports corporation,” Councillor Burnett said.
“The idea is to tie it all in here with East Shores so the whole of East Shores down here on the waterfront can tie in with Auckland Hill up the top.
“We have made it very clear to the port that the cafe stays.
“If some of the funding can go towards enhancing (the cafe)...that’s what it’s all about.”
The beautification of Auckland Hill will benefit both locals and tourists.
“The idea is to make sure you’ve got a place up there where you can have a cup of coffee, you can look over the beautiful Gladstone Harbour that exports to the world, that is also the engine room, as previous mayors have said, of the Australian economy,” Councillor Burnett said.
“It is also a fantastic place for people to come and visit, for tourists who want to come and check out our East Shores and Spinnaker Park, our Marina Parklands and really enjoy the place.”