THE City of Stirling is scrambling to find ways to help Scarborough businesses suffering from disruption due to foreshore redevelopment works.
Councillor Karen Caddy suggested the council investigate how the City could alleviate the financial burden on small businesses such as concessions to rates.
“If we are happy to recoup the benefits through a development contributions plan and increased rates at the end of the process we should also be happy to help these businesses who are struggling while works are being completed,” she said.
“The State Government package was nowhere near enough; it was just a drop in the ocean for these businesses.
“The development won’t be a success without the vibrancy of local businesses.”
However, Cr David Lagan said works disruptions were “part of the process” of the redevelopment.
“Construction works are just part of the process… if you want to make an omelette you’ve got to break some eggs,” he said.
“We handed this area over to the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) when we agreed to the development; they should be covering the costs.
“It is not for us to put more money into it – traders need to be better supported by the state government.”
Some Scarborough small business owners said they had suffered up to $1 million losses because of the disruption from the works and recently announced state government concessions were “too little too late”.
Cr Caddy said the City still received revenue from rates, even though the MRA had taken over planning control.
“Cr Lagan spoke about having to break a few eggs to make an omelette but I am not prepared to break the eggs that are our local businesses in Scarborough.”
Cr Mark Irwin agreed with the sentiment and said he did not want to see all of the “old Scarborough” gone from the area.
Cr Terry Tyzack said compensating Scarborough businesses would set a precedent and they would have to compensate all businesses in the City affected by works.
A report will be prepared and presented at a future council meeting in time for budget deliberations.