Home' The Great Southern Star : May 17th 2016 Contents “THE STAR”, Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - PAGE 9
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By Lucy Johnson
SHOP tenants on Leongatha’s Long
Street have struggled to stay afloat with
roadworks on the heavy vehicle alter-
nate route causing major disruption to
The landowner of the strip of shops, who wished
to remain anonymous, said she had already lost one
of three tenants due to the works.
“We believe our commercial property on Long
Street bears the brunt of the road modifications as we
have no alternative parking area, both during construc-
tion and after the bypass is completed,” she said.
“As much as VicRoads and South Gippsland
Shire Council have promoted and celebrated the fact
that this bypass has been put to the public review
and discussion, no actual correspondence has been
entered into with the specific landholders. We re-
ceived only ‘public’ information and the impact on
commercial properties has not been addressed.”
The landowner contacted VicRoads and asked
for her tenants’ lost income to be reimbursed.
To add salt to the wound, shop tenants on Long
Street will also lose three car parks in front of their
shops, with parallel parking to be installed further
up the road.
“The shire responded to my letters, stating that I
‘did not own’ the parking outside the shops and it was
therefore not their problem,” the landowner said.
One tenant, Nicole Haig of Haig’s K9 Cuts, has
chosen to pack up shop and move, stating the “un-
certainty” caused by the roadworks played a major
factor in the move.
“I certainly noticed the difference that roadworks
made to my business,” she said.
“Last Tuesday I only had three people come in
all day, which is a marked difference to what I would
Michelle Young, owner of My Leongatha Beauty
Care, said she was also looking to move into Leon-
gatha’s central business district.
“(My landlord) has been wonderful. However now
I have the option to relocate. I love my salon now and
I do not want to move but unfortunately if I stay, the
highway may affect my business,” she said.
Ms Young said roadworks caused major disrup-
tions to her salon last Tuesday, May 10 when contrac-
tors excavated a large hole in front of the salon.
“I was misinformed about how much noise and
vibration would occur and that upset my clients who
were having massages. I had older ladies coming into
the salon who had to step over massive holes. It is a
hazard,” Ms Young said.
“My clients are upset for me and they are furious
with VicRoads and South Gippsland Shire Council,
who said there was nothing they could do except give
notification of when the work was going to happen.
There was no compensation. This whole operation has
been disrespectful to the businesses on Long Street.”
The third tenant, Colin King of Leongatha Den-
tures, said changes to parking for the strip of shops
was sure to be a detriment to his clinic in the future.
“We have been told we will only have six park-
ing spots for our three shops once construction is
complete,” he said.
“If we do not have substantial parking I may
have to move.”
The landowner of the Long Street properties said
she will be taking legal action against VicRoads after
the department failed to respond to her concerns.
A South Gippsland Shire Council spokesperson
said council and VicRoads had been consulting with
the community and affected landholders.
VicRoads Eastern Region regional director
Scott Lawrence said, “VicRoads and contrac-
tor representatives have met with local business
owners in the area ahead of works, where busi-
ness owners were briefed on site, and were pro-
vided with a detailed plan of the proposed dates
for works in each of the separate areas in and
around the intersection.
“In addition to this, alternative parking ar-
rangements were provided to assist those visit-
ing the businesses and the contractor has worked
diligently to ensure the works in this area were
completed ahead of schedule.”
Road block: VicRoads contractors worked outside businesses on Leongatha’s Long Street for two
days last week, causing further disruption to the Long Street businesses.
Long Street works impact
EMMANUEL Kelly moved the crowd with
his touching story and singing ability at a
function at Korumburra on Saturday night.
The Rotary Club of Korumburra organised the
evening at the Korumburra Italian Social Club.
Emmanuel has certainly come a long way, from
being rescued from a shoe box in war torn Iraq,
Raised in an orphanage run by the Mother Theresa
nuns, Emmanuel was then being adopted by Moira
Kelly and moved to Australia to live. In the past 14
years in Australia, Emmanuel has had six surgeries
and has had to work hard to achieve his goals.
The Rotary club was proud to be able to do-
nate the proceeds from the evening to the South
Gippsland Special School in Leongatha. Principal
Heather Braden was thrilled to accept the cheque for
$3000 presented to her at the end of the evening.
Singer inspires Korumburra
Worthy cause: Mark Holmes and George Auddino present a cheque for $3000 to South
Gippsland Specialist School principal Heather Braden, after raising the sum at the Emman-
uel Kelly event in Korumburra on Saturday night.
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