Senator weighs in on Baldivis sink hole debacle

Senator weighs in on Baldivis sink hole debacle

SENATOR Jordan Steele-John has described the conditions for shops at Stockland Baldivis as an “absolute travesty.”

Senator Jordan Steele-John.

After a sink hole appeared in the shopping centre carpark in February, Senator Steele-John said he feared the structural collapse may result in the financial collapse of some businesses.

The sink hole that appeared in February. Photo by Matt Whitfield.

“It is shocking for my local shopping centre,” he said.

A second sink hole appeared in the carpark earlier this month, but was quickly filled and the ground was stabilised.

Senator Steele-Jordan said many of the shop fronts were empty.

Pasta Cup and Mrs Fields closed last year, Lenard’s Chicken closed four to five months ago and Boost Juice is for sale.

“It is sad and frustrating,” Senator Steele-Jordan said.

The Lucky Charm newsagency owner Nelson De Freitas said trade had been reduced by about 10 per cent since the sink hole appeared in February and repair work started.

“We still don’t know what really happened,” he said.

Mr De Freitas said there had been no offers of compensation for loss of trade.

Repair works for the first sinkhole are expected to be completed in August. Photo by Gabrielle Jeffery.

Another business owner, who did not want to be named, said the carpark repair works had definitely impacted his business.

He said it was partly due to the lack of parking and social media had been a “killer.”

He said comments on Facebook questioning the safety of the shopping centre were detrimental to business.

“It is not swamp land,” he said.

Jamaica Blue manager Tim Bunyan said it was hard to tell what impact the car park works had done to business.

“It’s hard to determine because there was also the food court construction,” he said.

“We’ve had Red Dot open next door, which has been a big boost to business.”

A Stockland spokeswoman said investigations confirmed the subsidence in the Stockland Baldivis carpark was due to a partial failure of a storm water detention system.

“Repairs to the system commenced in February with estimated completion in August,” she said.

“We have been working hard to minimise disruption with repairs being carried out safely and as quickly as possible.

“The carpark is open for normal trading with over 1250 car bays available and we apologise to our customers and retailers for any inconvenience experienced by the temporary closure of 88 spaces during rectification works.

“Safety remains our first priority and we continue to monitor the site with our contractor as the works progress.”

The second sink hole appeared earlier this month. Photo by Gabrielle Jeffery.

The second sinkhole this month was caused by the remedial works to the stormwater detention system underway in the carpark. Rainwater from the roof of the centre was being temporarily diverted to a pit that usually only drains rainwater from the carpark. The pit eroded after heavy rain. Rainwater has now been redirected to its normal path and drainage system.