Katherine residents have responded strongly to an online survey gauging concern about the state of the town’s retail centre.
Of about 40 responses so far, more than half believe the problem is serious and needs immediate action.
The Katherine Times has ironed out the bugs which caused some people problems completing the survey last night, have a go again.
People say they miss each and every shop which has closed.
They particularly miss restaurants, Travelworld, shoe shops, and this week’s closure of Hourglass Jewellers.
Residents say they would like to see a variety of new retailers attracted to the town to sell books, clothes, food.
There was a specific request for a second major supermarket, like Coles, to be encouraged to build competition with existing retailers.
Of course, there were many requests for Colonel Sanders to take a look and open a KFC here.
They want our leaders to become more involved in the retail area and help encourage new businesses to the town.
One even wanted a public meeting called to gather fresh ideas on how to fix the problem.
They have called for the main street to be beautified, perhaps with more trees, more seating.
The long-term plan of diverting heavy vehicles from the main street needs to be fast tracked, they say.
The high rents charged for shops was highlighted by many residents and they called by a government or council program of rent subsidies.
“Charge landlords higher rates for empty shops,” one suggested.
We will continue to gather survey responses.