Mall jeweller Brad Kearton is reporting increased business.
Mall jeweller Brad Kearton is reporting increased business. Rob Williams

Mall to host family fun day

A FAMILY fun day this weekend aims to jump-start business in the Ipswich Mall following the floods.

Not including the lower level of the car park, the Ipswich City Square and mall precinct was high enough to have avoided the damage caused in the lower lying areas of town when the Bremer River burst its banks.

While they weren’t forced to contend with inches of mud and filth, most business owners lost at least a few days’ takings due to power failures, security issues or restricted access.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said it was hoped the addition of children’s rides, music, face painting and prizes to the mall this Saturday from 10am would help get the message out that the city was open for business.

“Things are going well but people have been devastated by the floods and we’ve got to keep things moving along,” Cr Pisasale said. “We need people to support our businesses.”

Despite a short disruption due to the flooding, jeweller Brad Kearton said business had been increasing in the last few days.

“Traffic in the mall has definitely picked up since Monday,” he said.

“Things have bounced back very quickly considering the scale of the flood.

“I think most people just wanted to get back to normal routines as quickly as possible.”

The Ipswich City Square was on a downward spiral – with tenancy and shopper numbers at an all-time low – following the opening of Riverlink in 2007.

At one point in 2008, only 40% of shop space was occupied, giving the mall more of the vibe of a ghost town than the central business district of a rapidly growing city.

However, the arrival of new businesses including RM Williams and Harvey Norman, as well as the council’s $45 million takeover of the mall and its long-term plans to rejuvenate it, were credited with bringing some life back to the shopping precinct late last year.

Granny’s Kitchen takeaway store owner Kwong Chan said there was still a lot of progress to be made.

“There is still a lot of empty office space – it depends on whether they can fill it or not,” he said.

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