Katherine's streets are filthy, retailers say

FIX TOWN ISSUES: The Sweetest Things owner Lana Read says beautifying the town will not fix the real issues.
FIX TOWN ISSUES: The Sweetest Things owner Lana Read says beautifying the town will not fix the real issues.

Katherine retailers say they are sick and tired of cleaning up the main street. 

Often taking it upon themselves to maintain the town’s image, retailers say the government needs to do more.  

Business owners on Katherine Terrace are hosing down footpaths, picking up rubbish, and removing graffiti in an effort to entice shoppers. 

“We don’t need new infrastructure we just need things to be cleaned,” assistant manager of Top Saddlery Warwick Newton said. 

“I go out and clean the footpaths and clean off graffiti from the chairs when it is the government’s job. They just don’t do it.”

On a second run at asking Katherine Terrace retailers how they thought the NT Government should spend $5m on revamping the CBD, rigorous cleaning was the main consensus. 

“The [footpaths] are disgusting, employ someone to clean the surfaces,” Mr Newton said. 

Danielle, a shopper on the street agreed saying tourists would be much more inclined to stay in a clean town. 

Mary Ann Frogley, who works at Fe’s said while it is an individual business’ responsibility to maintain store fronts, some shops on the street were looking a bit derelict. 

The government’s plans for the CBD revamp include road and infrastructure improvements, parking, lighting, pedestrian connectivity and access, WIFI/CCTV and public toilets among other things.

The government’s plans for the CBD revamp include road and infrastructure improvements, parking, lighting, pedestrian connectivity and access, WIFI/CCTV and public toilets among other things.

“Some shops might benefit from the big tourist stickers council was working on. It would neaten up shop fronts and it would also be beautiful to advertise pictures of the gorge or Cutta Cutta Caves,” she said. 

Top Saddlery’s assistant manager also said it would be more appealing to see landscape pictures rather than smashed windows and graffiti.

Part of the government’s plan to revitalise the CBD include improving public toilets. 

Many retailers said in addition to improvements and maintenance, more public toilets in town are needed. 

Retail manager of NT Technology Geoff Maher said he often has mothers and children requesting to use his staff toilets. 

Fe’s Variety Shop is another store often fielding requests. 

“There needs to be better accessibility to the ones we already have and they need to be cleaned, plus we probably need more,” Mary Ann Frogley said. 

Another shopper said: “Toilets are a huge issue for everyone, there are not enough, spread too far apart, and they are not clean enough.”

While most retailers were on board with spending the money on the CBD, Lana Read from the Sweetest Thing said the money could be spent on better things elsewhere. 

“Spend the money on more public services. 

“Beautifying the main street isn’t going to stop break-ins and smashed windows,” she said. 

“The real issues in town need to be fixed.” 

Other idea’s for the spend included recycling options, a police beat at the Ryan Park end of Katherine Terrace, a vegetation re-think, and CCTV cameras which face the shops rather than facing alcohol premises. 

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