Positivity the key to moving city forward

 Liebig Street renewal works. Picture: Christine Ansorge

Liebig Street renewal works. Picture: Christine Ansorge

A bit of positivity could go a long way for the city we love.

Warrnambool is our home, and we need to embrace it and support traders, residents and community members now more than ever.

The depressing news the city centre renewal project had an extra $3 million whacked on its $15m cost shocked residents last week.

Some ratepayers’ disillusionment with council then continued after general business was again voted down.

But it’s not all bad. 

While Melbourne may wear the official crown, the Regional Cities Victoria liveability index report, which compared 10 Victorian regional cities to Melbourne, showed Warrnambool had the highest ranking out of all the councils.

Warrnambool scored above average in its housing affordability, with only 18.5 per cent of low-income residents spending 30 per cent or more of their income on housing. 

News this week that 78 housing lots had sold in seven days surprised real estate agents. We need to celebrate the good things about our fair city.

We have a thriving arts and music community and our laneways are bringing smiles to tourists and residents alike. 

It was also revealed Warrnambool’s retail spending had increased by $48 million while Liebig Street had been a construction zone. 

No-one would argue city traders haven’t been doing it tough over the past 12 months.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. New businesses are coming to town.

Our automotive and car sales industry has gone from strength-to-strength, with the city the place to purchase a new vehicle. 

The large pool of buyers, from not only the south-west but across Victoria, is underpinning major investment in Warrnambool’s car industry.

All of the city’s five major dealerships – Callaghan Motors, Clinton Baulch Motor Group, Warrnambool Auto Group, Norton Motor Group and Warrnambool Toyota – have made significant investment in the past two years totalling about $30 million.

So now is the time to make an effort –  rug up, head down the street and support small businesses. 

Because, as one trader said this week: “I realise Gateway Plaza has an impact but at the same time shoppers need to support the locals, support the CBD. If you don’t support the CBD, the CBD's gone. That’s pretty much it”.