Mayor’s stairs to help Kingscliff businesses
KINGSCLIFF retailers who say their takings have plummeted 20% since the closure of two Marine Pde beach accesses hope a set of stairs announced this week alleviates the situation.
They fear the drop in pedestrian traffic since the accesses opposite their businesses were closed a couple of months ago could drive them out of business.
Tweed Mayor Gary Bagnall this week announced a new aluminium relocatable set of stairs would be installed in front of the Cudgen Surf Lifesaving Club by early next month to help remedy the situation.
The surf club and Tweed Coast Holiday Parks are splitting the $13,000 cost.
Mayor Bagnall said the problem should have been addressed a long time ago.
"They're getting charged two times the rent as Murwillumbah and they're taking less," Cr Bagnall said.
He also questioned the timing of the six-month closure of the nearby North Holiday Park, which would likely result in fewer visitors over Christmas.
"The town relies heavily on its tourist trade, where they take two to three times their usual weekly takings."
The two beach accesses were closed due to erosion making them unsafe with pedestrians directed 240m away to Faulks Park, requiring a much longer hike to the shops.
Business owners expect to take a further hit over Christmas due to the North Holiday Park's closure.
It's due to reopen in May after renovations.
Mr Elliott, who is paying $5300 a month in commercial rent said: "We couldn't survive much longer based on the current rent we're paying,"
Peter Spiers, who owns Huey's Sunroom restaurant and Byron Gourmet Foods, said he was grateful for Cr Bagnall's prompt action.
But Mr Spiers believes another ramp to the beach will be required to return foot traffic to its previous volume.
The council's manager of holiday parks and economic development Richard Adams said the erosion was a natural event which no one could control and the beach accesses would be re-opened as soon as they became safe.
Mr Adams defended the timing of the park's closure, stating it had been dictated by the renovations consent and the expiration of the site manager's contract.
The average commercial rent in Kingscliff is $650sq m per year compared with $300sq m in Murwillumbah