Augusta town centre could look better | Your Letters

With the small boat harbour and other attractions causing Augusta to suddenly become extremely popular, we have reached a stage where almost every property has been sold or rented and now occupied, causing extreme shortages of accommodation.

Of course, most people want to be able to see the river or ocean if they decide to live here, and there are still some possibilities.

Blackwood Avenue, Augusta

Blackwood Avenue, Augusta

The retail buildings on both sides of the street were mostly built in a very basic style back in the 1960s.

Some are being flooded and filling with sand and water, while others have unsupported awnings at risk of dropping onto the footpath at any time, especially when they have been affected by rain and hidden rust, rotting the structures for decades.

This could also happen in Margaret River if regular checks are not being carried out on older buildings.

With a willing and receptive council, the location of these buildings could be rezoned to allow for new dwellings upstairs, retail downstairs, and a combination of permanent or short stay accommodation.

This would allow for the existing shops to be rebuilt by their owners with varying sizes of the ground level retail space. Some might have smaller shopfront areas with a bigger dwelling space or vice versa.

The emphasis would need to be in keeping with the appearance of an attractive design of which many ideas already exist in tourist towns across Australia, and limited to two levels above ground.

To complete the improvement of the town centre, the critical shortage of public toilets must also be addressed. There is already an old toilet block, most likely constructed using asbestos, behind the Lions Toy shop.

This old toilet block could be redeveloped for public use, with two or three cubicles locked and walled off and facing away from the public toilets, for shop staff use only.

The toilets would need to be connected to deep sewerage.

This would put an end to the queues of tourists who currently have wait their turn to use the single toilet provided at the IGA entrance, or take a very long hike to the closest single toilet opposite the newsagency.

Alternatively, the council could investigate the possibility of building a toilet block adjacent to the Telstra tower.

The existing crowded toilet space is not a safe way to contain any infection outbreaks of the example the world is dealing with at present, and not the memory we want our tourist to take away with them.

Beth James, Augusta

We're sorry...

Dear Julie (Cafe service lacks thought, Letters 9/6), sorry that we closed at 3.00pm.

Julie, on behalf of Margaret River I wish to apologise on behalf of our town and the many Cafe owners I personally know and respect.

Sorry that when they got up at 5am and after 11 hours of work for the 20th day in a row, they closed at 3pm.

On behalf of the cafe owners, sorry some wanted to see their kids for an hour on the weekend.

Sorry that the last 12 months or so have seen them adapt to a number of shutdowns, restrictions and lockdowns and that they are trying to get back to some normalcy.

I'm sorry that they can not find enough people to fill the positions that they need to give the levels of service they expect and sorry you have been affected (it must be devastating for you).

I am sorry our town does not have enough affordable housing for the hospitality workers. I am sorry that you failed to notice the 16 shops that have closed in the last 12 months. I am sorry that you believe an entire industry has started a business that is dedicated to serving you.

I'm sorry you have lost the ability to feel empathy and understanding for circumstances outside of the bubble of your entitlement.

If your letter is meant to provide thoughtful insight and constructive feedback to an industry then I am am sorry, I can't understand your viewpoint.

The families behind the cafes, restaurants, eateries and retail experiences in Margaret River are without exception some of the hardest working community members we have.

Like many in regional Australia they have been through hell in the last year.

There is a very large divide between being a server and being a servant and your perspective has failed to take into account any of the challenges, struggles or hardships these businesses have endured, are enduring and will endure.

Perhaps you could engage with our tourism and business communities gain some insight and then form an informed viewpoint.

Richard Moroney, Margaret River

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