Rockhampton businessman Mark Bunt is supporting the riverbank redevelopment. Rachael Conaghan/ The Morning Bulletin
Rockhampton businessman Mark Bunt is supporting the riverbank redevelopment. Rachael Conaghan/ The Morning Bulletin Rachael Conaghan

Short term pain, long term gain

WHEN East Street Mall underwent a million dollar redevelopment to beautify the CBD, Mark Bunt's business had to put up with the construction for months.

He understands the inconvenience of disruptions, but says it's worth it.

GOING AHEAD: An artist’s impression for Rockhampton Regional Council’s riverbank development, which was supposed to begin phase one of construction on Tuesday.
GOING AHEAD: An artist’s impression for Rockhampton Regional Council’s riverbank development, which was supposed to begin phase one of construction on Tuesday. Contributed

So he still can't understand why business owners on Quay St are opposing the council's plans for a riverbank development.

Mark said he was "gob smacked" to hear business owners managed to stop work from going ahead on Tuesday as planned.

"I just don't think half a dozen people should be able to disrupt this when it's for the good of the whole community of Rockhampton," he said.

"We've got $15 million from the state government, so it's an absolute no-brainer to go and do it as soon as possible.

"Overall, we'll have some short term pain for long term gain."

Mark said he attended nearly all of the information workshops which council organised on the project, and his only concern was making sure adequate parking was maintained.

"To have half a dozen people complaining about disruptions to business … it's going to increase their property value by thousands of dollars when the exercise is finished," he said.

"Let's face it, that bit of bitumen in front of the old Bulletin office (on Quay St) would be the oldest and worst in Rocky."

Mark said after the success of both the Food and Wine Festival and the River Festival recently, a redevelopment of the riverbank would increase interest in the town.

"In ten years' time the riverbank is going to go from strength to strength," he said.

He also said that since most of the businesses along Quay St were professional offices, not retail, now would be a good time to develop as they close over Christmas.

"I want the mayor to be strong and just put in and get it done."

Council had planned to begin phase one of the Riverbank Redevelopment plan on Tuesday, but it was delayed after backlash from stakeholders in the area, with the threat of legal action from some.

But Mayor Margaret Strelow said the group has had many opportunities to give feedback, and the work will continue regardless.



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