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Reopening of Maude St Mall to traffic debated

City of Greater Shepparton councillors debate Maude St Mall Revitalisation Study.

JARROD WHITTAKER February 25, 2014 4:04am

Greater Shepparton City Council has postponed consideration of reopening Maude St Mall because of its hefty price tag.

A report prepared for the council states reopening the mall to traffic would cost more than $4.1million.

The Maude St Mall Revitalisation Study considered several improvement options.

Other options included improving access to affordable parking and improving amenities such as cleanliness, landscaping and shade.

The fourth option, ‘‘activation’’, included improved opening hours, events, a mix of cafes and restaurants and a mix of retail outlets. The report found activation provided the best value for money.

It would cost $545000 to implement and generate $342.8million in revenue.

The report found activation would generate $208 per additional visitor.

It found reopening the mall to traffic would generate $6.70 per additional visitor.

City of Greater Shepparton councillors were due to vote on a recommendation to abandon considering reopening the mall to traffic because of the cost associated and the low return on investment.

However, Cr Milvan Muto successfully amended the motion at last week’s meeting to have the word ‘‘abandon’’ replaced with ‘‘postpone’’.

He said the term abandon was ‘‘a bit harsh’’ for people who wanted traffic returned to the mall.

The motion also instructed council officers to provide options for activating the mall and improving its amenity.

Cr Les Oroszvary said the mall needed to be more attractive.

‘‘I believe there is a place for the Maude St Mall in the future,’’ Cr Oroszvary said.

‘‘It’s just a matter of starting with small improvements.’’

Cr Fern Summer said Shepparton was lucky to have a mall.

‘‘It would be a shame to see it opened completely to traffic,’’ she said.

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