Readers slam street makeover


STANTHORPE’S streetscape is back in the headlines, but for all the wrong reasons, according to Free Times readers.
Residents have accused Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) of squandering ratepayers’ money after it indicated it would spend $82,500 engaging an architect and undertaking a streetscape study.
Defending its decision, SDRC acting director of engineering services Chris Whitaker said the council made the decision in camera at last month’s general meeting after “many years of requests from the community and local organisations”.
“Council has decided to proceed with the initial phases of the Stanthorpe streetscape which will include community consultation and preparation of the streetscape masterplan,” Mr Whitaker said.
“The chosen landscape architect John Mongard from Brisbane has extensive regional experience and was involved with specific previous projects in Stanthorpe.”
A number of Free Times readers wrote in condemning the move saying the council could not afford the survey let alone the slated improvements.
Mr Whitaker said the council would begin community engagement on 20 February.
“Part of the community engagement process will involve leasing a vacant shop in High Street and all interested members of the community will be encouraged to pay a visit,” he said.
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