Our beautiful Queanbeyan River winds around our beautiful town of Queanbeyan and our Central Business District (CBD) but who knows about it?
Colourful tourist signage located at all the Crawford Street intersections directing pedestrians and traffic to the historic Queanbeyan attractions like: Riverside Pioneer Cemetery (1840s), Railway Station(1887), Printing Museum, Historical Museum, City Council Research Library, The Q (live) Theatre, Sporting Gallery, Art Society Gallery, O’Sullivan’s Weir and Suspension (pedestrian) Bridge, 1820s (low level) Aboriginal Crossing, the River Walk with river duck and swan pond, historic homes, historic churches etc would be a good investment and would help grow our town, Queanbeyan, and help grow the Queanbeyan CBD.
The proposed community Art Society gallery café must not be Queanbeyan City Council’s (QCC) main centre of focus. Council’s must focus on and bring to life the existing CBD. If Mayor Overall’s team are so confident of a river café’s success then they should put up their own money to build it and on sell (or lease) the cafe once it is established.
It is not Council’s role to go into competition with existing businesses and spend ratepayer’s money building a café, when there are vacant shops in the CBD and business people crying out for a full CBD upgrade (not only Crawford Street) to encourage pedestrian traffic.
How traffic, rushing over Queanbeyan bridge and down Bungendore or Monaro Street, will see a proposed café and sensory gardens under the bridge near the Art Society gallery and know that it is the entrance to the CBD is a poorly thought out concept.
A business plan with reliable surveys and statistics including risk management, start up costs, outfitting expenses, operating expenses, cash flow, legal structure in a flood zone, insurance, health and safety, performance and sustainability indicators is a business persons responsibility and risk. It is not a Council responsibility.
Love is in the air
Our love affair with the weather in this neck of the woods cannot be relied on to provide round year weather for riverside dinning but our main streets do provide parking, covered walkways and vacant shops just waiting for some one to love and own them if Council makes our CBD vibrant and inviting.
With CBD parking on one side of the river with plenty of eateries, and with fast food outlets with parking a short walk on the other side of the river the arts-café proposal is pie in the sky at present. Individually our community attractions are not draw cards but marketed as group attractions within out history and heritage background they have excellent potential to bring visitors to our city.
Footnotes / Resource
1. Queanbeyan City Council’s 2009 proposal, to build a “Arts cafe” next to the Art Society Gallery in Trinculo Place, Queanbeyan, is at present under investigation; Council will view architect plans in February 2010 with completion planned for around September, 2010.
2. Connee-Colleen, © “Queanbeyan Outlook (204): Why worry,” The Queanbeyan Age, October 16, 2009, p. 15.
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