State and Local Governments will be expected to follow a new blueprint on managing roadworks impacts on small businesses according to Small Business Commissioner John Chapman.
The new document “Open to Business – Making Roadworks Work” was released at a forum of Small Business Friendly Councils convened by the Small Business Commissioner today.
“Both levels of Government will have no excuses for not adopting the principles laid out in this document,” Mr Chapman said.
“In my role, the issue of roadworks affecting small businesses has been one of the most difficult to deal with as Governments seem to think it is okay to rip up and close roads with little consideration of the impact on small businesses” Mr Chapman said.
“Through the intervention of my office, there has been some improvement in the ways Government and councils have undertaken these projects in the past two years, but there is still a long way to go before small businesses will feel confident that their livelihoods are not going to be destroyed by poorly planned and managed projects.”
“We have put this document together as a guide for Government, contractors and small businesses. It is a working document that includes practical checklists.”
Mr Chapman said there were many areas project proponents and managers could assist in, particularly with early and genuine consultation with businesses which will be affected. Business impacts include customer traffic declines, access for deliveries and waste disposal, dust, mud and noise.
“We see that when business concerns are taken into account, it is easier for everyone. We have seen some really good outcomes such as Gawler Place where the City of Adelaide adopted a very staged and segmented approach to the upgrade and have maintained access at all times.”
“King William Road, Hyde Park is another example where there was a lot of consultation which shaped the planning process and while it did not overcome all of the issues, the City of Unley was and is very proactive in working with traders.”
“Again, in King William Street, Adelaide, the State Government and its contractors were responsive to concerns which were raised prior to and during the tram track replacement works in June 2019.”
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