Shire takes advantage of shutdown to fast-track makeover
The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River will move to accelerate the town’s main street redevelopment, taking advantage of the COVID-19 disruption.
Responding to calls from traders — many of whom have shut their businesses during the pandemic response — Shire chief executive Stephanie Addison-Brown confirmed not only was the makeover project on schedule, but was gearing up to fast-track planned works.
“We have made this decision to take advantage of the unplanned shutdown of the town as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Federal and State Government restrictions in place to manage the spread,” she said.
“The plan is to move (September’s) Stage 2 works forward ... to start as soon as Stage 1 works are done in May/June this year.
“Our project team is working hard with contractors BCP to finalise these plans.”
The news was welcomed by business operators now faced with a dire financial situation.
Traders were told to brace for “disruption” when the works started, but the pandemic now offered a silver lining to advance the project to have it substantially progressed by the time businesses could re-open.
“Our aim is to seek this funding to ensure completion of these capital works, immediately after the completion of Stage 2, if at all possible,” Ms Addison-Brown told the Times.
“If successful this will enable the whole project to be completed this year and support Margaret River and the wider region get back on its feet post-pandemic.”
The Shire said capital works were a valued way to support ongoing employment for subcontractors, feeding in to the local economy.
Discussions were in progress with State and Federal Government on securing the remaining money needed to complete Stage 3 from Willmott Avenue to the Wallcliffe Road intersection, though the roundabout was now under construction.
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