CITY of Vincent mayor Emma Cole says local support will be vital for businesses during the next four months of road closures on Beaufort Street.
Construction to replace the 100-year-old water main on the street will start on Monday, March 11, with the first stage of work starting between Newcastle and Bulwer streets – vehicles will share two lanes on the soundbound side of the road while the northbound side is closed.
Each stage is expected to take four to six weeks.
Ms Cole said the City had concerns about local businesses struggling during the works.
“We’re encouraging our Vincent community and local residents to support local businesses and to wander down Beaufort Street,” she said.
“The Beaufort Street Network has been very active, rallying behind businesses – we’re working with them on a social media campaign to remind residents to get behind them and support them during this disruption.”
Water Corporation Assets Delivery general manager Nathan Hardwick said pedestrian footpaths would be unaffected and access to properties would be maintained.
“While the work we are doing is essential, we understand there can be impacts on local businesses and we plan to do all we can to minimise this as much as possible, and thank the community in advance for their patience,” he said.
“We have a dedicated team that has been talking with local businesses along Beaufort Street since October, and will continue to work closely with owners to minimise disruption as much as possible.”
Mt Lawley MLA Simon Millman said he was confident the resilient small businesses along the street would not be significantly affected.
“If you love a local business, support it. It sounds clichéd, but you have to put your money where your mouth is,” he said.
Perth MLA John Carey said he understood why locals would be concerned about the impact of the works, but there were many factors at play for businesses going through tough times on Beaufort Street.
“The genuine feedback I’ve heard from small businesses is that the key issue isn’t parking, it’s not that the council hasn’t tried to revive the area, the feedback is there has been unrealistic expectations from property owners about rental returns,” he said.
“We need to have a conversation with property owners – the damage is done, and we’re seeing one vacant building after another.”