EFFORTS by the Home Hill Chamber of Commerce to discover the community’s thoughts and ideas on how to improve the outlook for the town’s Central Business District drew a slightly larger crowd than normal to their April networking social meeting, including chamber members and some non-members, several Burdekin Shire Councillors and Member for Burdekin, Dale Last.
Chamber President, David Jackson gave an overview of the current situation, including the poor condition of empty buildings in the town that are owned by absentee landlords, the problems with the standard of the highway through town and the difficulties, especially for older people to access shops because of the deep gutters.
He encouraged those present to have their say on what should be done to take the town forward.
The discussions were led by Home Hill businessman, Ron Scott, who is developing a new business in the town and former town business operator, Ross Tapiolas, who explained the difficulties he had in finding a new premises before he decided to move to Ayr.
Mr Scott and Mr Tapiolas had both previously expressed their views in The Home Hill News on what needed to be done to improve the town’s outlook.
Mr Scott explained his problems in finding a new building including getting no response from owners and inspecting a building that was in receivership and which was dirty with dead vermin inside and lack of support from some building owners.
He said shops that were boarded up discouraged visitors and there was no incentive to set up a business in the town.
Mr Tapiolas said he had looked at buying his former building, but he found a nice building in Ayr and decided to move.
He said customers didn’t come to Home Hill when he had sales because there was nothing else for them to do.
Asked if existing buildings needed to be inspected, Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said that was only if there had been a complaint.
She spoke of the problems in the town with pigeons and suggested a pest controller could remove them.
She also said landowners also needed to repair houses as well as shops, as the SES had to visit some homes every time there is a storm.
Councillors suggested that parts of the town were clean because there were no perching points for pigeons, while the meeting was told the Home Hill CBD was being considered in council’s budget discussions to be adopted at the end of June.