Labor’s staging post silence fans CBD business viability fears

Labor’s staging post silence fans CBD business viability fears

Posted on: 04 April 2024

The Opposition is calling on the Malinauskas Labor Government to ensure no local businesses are unfairly impacted by its decision to build a SAPOL Mounted Operations Unit staging post in the city.

CBD business owners along King William and Mill Streets have told the Opposition they’re incredibly concerned early works have begun at the site, behind the Supreme Court, without any public consultation on the project taking place.

The owners have expressed fears over the potential impacts of having horses stationed in the area could have on their businesses – including the sights, sounds and smells.

The lack of consultation is the latest in a series of blunders from the Malinauskas Labor Government when it comes to the relocation of the Mounted Operations Unit, including an embarrassing backflip on a decision to bulldoze part of the Adelaide Park Lands to make way for the new barracks.

Peter Malinauskas also announced plans to shift the Unit to airport land, before ditching that idea for a location at Gepps Cross – a unpopular decision with claims officers have threatened to quit over the planned move.

Shadow Treasurer, Matt Cowdrey, said that at a time when many businesses are already struggling due to skyrocketing operating costs, the least Peter Malinauskas could have done is properly engage with local business owners about their plans.

“Right now, we should be doing everything we can to support small businesses to thrive, but Peter Malinauskas appears to be dismissing the concerns these owners have,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“These CBD hospitality venues are incredibly worried about the potential impacts staging horses nearby will have on business and their livelihoods, yet the Malinauskas Labor Government isn’t doing anything to ease their concerns.

“During the cost of living crisis, doing business in South Australia is already proving tough, with the sky-high cost of electricity and customers spending less, but Labor seems to just want to kick these business owners while they're down.

“We’re calling on Peter Malinauskas and his Labor Government to properly engage with local businesses and residents about the city staging post and ensure they’re not unfairly impacted by the project.

“Labor’s plans to move the Mounted Operations Unit from the soon to be demolished Thebarton Police Barracks has been a disaster from the very beginning, and failing to properly consult the local community over the staging post is another huge misstep.”