The Newtown Precinct Business Association (NPBA) supports the Newtown WestConnex Action Group’s campaign to protect King St.
As the voice of Newtown business, the NPBA believes King Street is one of Sydney’s most important retail, hospitality and entertainment hubs. It is for this reason the association is campaigning to protect King St from the potential impact of the WestConnex Project.
The WestConnex Delivery Authority has not published the full business case for the $15 billion project nor have they addressed the concerns of our association. The NPBA is deeply concerned at this lack of transparency and the likely changes to King Street.
The additional cars and trucks on our already congested streets will force the hand of Roads and Maritime Sydney, the governing authority, to turn King Street into a 24-hour clearway. This will increase traffic speed as well as vehicle congestion and will come at the expense of parking and pedestrian safety. Ultimately this will lead to the loss of our unique and vibrant Newtown culture.
Earlier this year the NPBA commissioned a study into the visitor economy of Newtown to paint a picture of who comes to the precinct, how much they spend and how they get here. This study highlighted the value of the visitor economy to Newtown and provided a base to evaluate the potential impact of a changed environment.
The research has told us that almost one in five Sydneysiders will visit Newtown in the next six months, making it the most popular destination outside the CBD. Of those visitors 24 per cent of them park on King Street. Where will this leave these visitors should it become a 24-hour clearway? Our research has identified the following potential impact on local business
464,640 people are projected to park on King St in the next 12 months
On average these visitors spend $46 each in the precinct
24 hour clearways on King St will result in a $21.37million reduction in the annual visitor economy and will cripple the local business community
These figures do not include the impact that clearways will have on reducing pedestrian traffic and the resulting reduction of visitor spending.
The time to act is now. Unless we as the business community raise our voice to protect King St we risk record unemployment levels, business closures and irreplaceable damage to our local culture and visitor economy. Our once vibrant high street will be relegated to the same fate as Parramatta Road or Oxford Street.
As the President of the NPBA I urge you to support our campaign and join our organisation so that we can protect King St and the greater community. As a united voice we can achieve anything.