“Dauncey Street has been closed for roadworks again from today and we are worried about the negative impacts this will have on some of the Dauncey street traders. Visitors won’t enjoy sitting outside having their meal with dusty roadworks out the front, but we need to draw them in to support business in other ways.
This job started in February and was meant to be finished in 10 weeks. All sorts of things have gone wrong and resulted in massive delays. Some things which appear to be finished are still incomplete. And everyone is concerned about the drainage.
We just want the job finished having waited for 9 months now with broken promises. The aim was to beautify the main street and we were promised an increase in sales due to it, but right now small businesses here are going to lose thousands of dollars while the road is shut in the lead-up to Christmas. For our business, this is not our busiest month, but we have special exhibitions scheduled based on the promises that work would be completed months ago. For many shops here this is when their roaring trade happens and we are worried about them. And it isn’t just here; it is part of an entire national program with federal funding from before the election. Those people have no understanding of the impact it has on small businesses. All over South Australia, it has put pressure on small communities, one example is Victor Harbor having its main street shut for ten months. When you take the only builders who put a tender in to do a job it can’t be good. I am feeling for Parndana, Penneshaw, and American River, God help them. We were promised to get more foot traffic, promised millions in revenue but now we are worried shoppers don’t even see how to access us and some businesses may not be able to trade through. Fleur has purchased some red bows to decorate so visitors can see who is still open because it has come down to each trader. We went through bushfire recovery, and then Covid, and our business has grit and is strong, we thought we could get through most things but we didn’t expect this. Small businesses here are going to really suffer through this and our community needs to pull together and support each trader. Shop local, big or small, follow the signage along the footpaths and help reduce the losses to income for many local small business owners. If you want us all to be here next Christmas, please support us this Christmas.”
Fred Peters, @fineartkangarooisland
“More roadworks on Dauncey street now means I am closing down for the week tomorrow. It is supposed to be one week, then open for two weeks, then they are closed until the 18th of December. People are not walking up and down the street. Today I only had 4 people in at one time, down by 80%, and this is worse than during Covid times. For my business, it is cheaper to be shut than to be open. It costs me less to be shut than to be open. I had my doubts in February when they started the project and we were given 24 hours of notice before they shut the road the first time. This was supposed to be finished by July. We are just not getting the number of people because of the dust and rubbish; it’s just not appealing and doesn’t look inviting.”
Jenny Morris, Lighthouse Café
“I’m not happy about it, the timing is not right. I think the long-term end result is that the street will look lovely and yes, the work needed to be done, but there has been a comedy of errors and holdups along the way. To shut the street in December for two weeks when the island is about to go into peak season is suicide for Dauncey Street’s small businesses. Traders have been lied to. At a meeting in the street, we were told that the road won’t be closed, only half of it, and that traffic was going to go past. They spoke of limited access, but now we are talking about one week this week and two weeks before Christmas – that’s if all goes right. There will be big machines down the street ripping up the concrete and smashing it, it will be dusty and noisy. Even though pedestrians can have access, it won’t be a lovely environment to discover shops for our visitors, they will avoid them. We usually sell gift vouchers in the lead-up to Christmas. I am not as worried about the street being shut for sales, but the noise and dust will be horrific. I am quite worried about my shop because if it’s too noisy or there is too much vibration, I will have to close the doors. Please, do not shop online, please come to town, be prepared to walk an extra fifty meters and support us here.”
Mandy Johnson, @SeasideBeautyKangarooIsland