MP, traders call for works compensation
High St traders in Reservoir have threatened to shut down the Mernda line unless the State Government dishes out some cash to help them through the level crossing closure.
Workers have already blocked trains at Reservoir station before, on August 19, to protest the shutdown, which has closed the intersection until late December.
Broadway Lotto owner and protest organiser Simon Alan said all traders understood the works were for the greater good but they wanted to ensure they would still be around to enjoy the benefits.
“We want an assistance package so we’re all here after these works are done,” he said. “If we don’t get an answer by Monday, Tuesday next week, by Friday we have to do something.” Mr Alan said his trade was down 75 per cent and Broadway was “dead”. “You could never get a carpark. You’d have to do five or six laps, now you can just pull in and find one,” he said.
As well as the shutdown on High St, traffic will be affected by the full and partial closure of Plenty Rd, Preston between September 21 and 30 for works on the tram lines. VicRoads has partially closed Mahoneys Rd, Reservoir between Blaxland Ave and Curzon St from 9pm to 5am until September 25 for resurfacing works.
Reason Party MP Fiona Patten asked the Small Business Minister Adam Somyurek to commit to a financial support package. Ms Patten said given the government was spending $232 million on the station build, a few hundred thousand dollars was more than reasonable.
Traders received four weeks’ notice the crossing would be closed for four months. But Mr Alan said small businesses ordered stock and planned out finances up to a year in advance. “I’m not planning for Christmas this year, I’m planning for 2020,” he said. Mr Somyurek’s office was contacted for comment.