WynnumCentral interviews the candidates: Tamera Michel (Independent)

This is the fifth of our interviews with candidates for the seat of Lytton (here’s the electorate map). Our focus is very much on what the candidates would do if elected to help the Wynnum central shopping area. As things stand there are approximately 25 empty shop units, of which 12 are in Edith Street.

Given that this is a quickfire election, the major parties are yet to announce many of their major policies, so this is a snapshot of what each candidate has to say at this point.

It has been suggested (by one of the candidates) that WynnumCentral hold a candidates debate closer to election day – if we do this we’ll let you know!

We asked each candidate two questions:

1. What would you do if elected to help revitalise the Wynnum Central shopping area?
2. The UK has a minister for high streets. What do you think of this idea?

Our fifth interviewee was Tamera Michel, Independent candidate for Lytton, who submitted her responses via email (and these are copied verbatim below).

Tamera Michel

Q: What would you do if elected to help revitalise the Wynnum Central shopping area?

A: This is a great question and as I mentioned in my speech at the forum the other night it’s one that a lot of residents have been asking themselves over the years.

The Wynnum Central shopping area has so much going for it. It has a standout location that is not only accessible by multiple forms of public transport but also within walking distance of the beautiful waterfront. I, like many other residents can see how much potential there is just waiting to be explored and it has quite often been a discussion in our household on what can be done to revitalise it.

If elected I would be working with the local council member to get some plans into action to help revitalise Wynnum Central. I’ve included some ideas below:

To start off with it needs to be proposed to the business owners the option of offering lowered rent or rent free for a limited period, to not only entice businesses into the area but also give a bit of a leg up to the small business owners while they establish their business. Whilst the building owners would be missing out for a short period, in the long run they will benefit as opposed to their shops sitting empty. On this note I also like the idea of the Renew Australia Scheme with artists utilising the empty shops.

A face lift is also badly needed to a number of the buildings. It is important to keep the history of the area but at the same time it needs a fresh look and tidy up to the facades.

Car parking is also really important to consider especially as more businesses are established we want to keep the convenience. A lot of people aren’t even aware there is car parking behind many of the buildings. A revamp of the car parks would be useful to not only improve it but utilise the space efficiently with new parking lines.

More development of multi-story residential facilities, in particular along Bay Terrace, should also be encouraged as we need to capitalise on the views that can be gained.

Big businesses need to be ‘head hunted’ and the area showcased to draw them in. An example of a business that I believe would be successful in the area would be Best & Less as there aren’t many affordable clothing options in the local area especially for kids clothing. Best & Less is one shop that is mentioned regularly to me by the local mums.

It would be great to get something like the Citycat to come further along the Brisbane River which would attract more people to the area.

Q: The UK has a minister for high streets. What do you think of this idea?

A: Without an extensive knowledge of the Minister for high streets or the success rates of the projects undertaken I couldn’t say whether it would be beneficial or not. I would say though that because we don’t have one in Australia it is even more important to hold the local Federal, State & Council members accountable for these issues.

Ms Michel also added:

In my speech at the forum I mentioned about the lack of information regarding the new Wynnum Health Precinct. A big question is ‘What does this mean for Wynnum Central?’ There currently is a ‘health precinct’ in the Edith St & Clara St block and if some of those businesses decided to relocate to the Wynnum Health Precinct we will have more empty shops in Wynnum Central.

Remember to vote in our snap poll (on the right hand side of this page) – let us know who you would vote for. If you’re undecided at this point, wait until you’ve made your mind up and then vote, as we’ll keep the poll going until election day.

Feel free to make any comments below. Please keep the comments profanity free (otherwise they may not appear or will be removed) and refrain from personal attacks which again will be removed.

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