Sunday, May 06, 2007

My First News Story

What follows is my first story researched and written for my Newswriting subject. It's not perfect, but it's mine.

And as my tutor mentions, it's my intellectual property, so I can do whatever I want with it. Including posting it here.


Busway compensation deal not so sweet.

Frustrated shopkeepers in Coorparoo could be forced to wait up to 10 months to receive compensation for being forced out of their locations due to the planned Eastern Busway.

The current draft Concept Design and Infrastructure Management Plan would see the historic Myer building, which includes the Coorparoo Mall, torn down to make way for a bus stop and dual-purpose development.

The State Government is scheduled to review the plan in June with a final decision not due for several months.

Business owners in the mall were originally told compensation to move to new locations would be made available between July and September this year, but have now been told they may have to wait until February 2008.

Paula Cleg, owner of the Party and Confectionary Shop at the Coorparoo Mall, is concerned that as a result of a downturn in trade some businesses in the area may not survive that long.

“It’s completely like a ghost town now,” said Ms Kleg. “There’s just no one coming into the area.

The centre’s major tenant, Harvey Norman, left the site several months ago.

Ms Kleg is currently working six days a week at the Coorparoo business, and spends Sundays selling confectionary at local markets to supplement income from the shop.

The State Transport Minister’s office refused to comment, however Councillor for the East Brisbane Ward Catherine Bermingham believes the project will be a great benefit to the local area.

“Some of the local residents were concerned at first and now they see the benefits of it,” said Councillor Bermingham.

“They now see there’s an opportunity for a mixed use site which means their property will be worth more money.

“We’ve only really had maybe a half a dozen negatives about the bus tunnel.”

Paula Kleg welcomes the future benefits to the local community however she wants the state and local governments to realise the dilemma currently facing business owners.

“I think the government needs to come in here and have a look and have a bit of care for the shops that are here right now,” she said.

The Eastern Busway project is scheduled to commence in 2008.


Associated Links

Translink: Eastern Busway

Proposed Coorparoo Junction Station Concept Plan

Coorparoo Junction Before & After Artist's Impression

Coorparoo Mall location - Google Maps

Mall History - Australian Heritage Database


As a side issue, I should note that the local Councillor, Catherine Bermingham, is a pretty good person. I didn't intend for her comments to make the alternative view to this story, however apparently it's the Transport Minister's policy not to speak to university students. Unfortunately I wasn't told this in time to get an alternate view, and I didn't feel it was ethical to play the ABC card which means her comments had to play that role. A pity, but it doesn't make the underlying story any less valid as far as I'm concerned.

No comments: