The Hunter Connection is a retail precinct located on the corner of Hunter and George streets which houses a vast array of retail, hospitality, and service outlets. It is one of the few remaining small business retail sectors left in the City of Sydney.
Despite access points from Hunter, George, and Pitt streets the majority of visitors to the centre get there via the connecting tunnel to Wynyard station.
Tens of thousands of commuters utilise this shortcut each day, and their flow is vital to many businesses within the Hunter Connection.
As part of the $1 billion redevelopment of Wynyard station and surrounds (Wynyard Place – http://wynyardplace.com.au/), the tunnel connecting the station to the connection is to be closed for 12 months. This closure was originally due to happen at the start of July 2018, however through lobbying by Angela, The Small Business Party, and the Small Business Commissioner, this has been delayed till the 27th of July.
When this connection closed temporarily last year, businesses within the basement level had a drop in patronage of between 50-90%. This is unsustainable.
Transport for NSW have approved and signed this development, and are the decision makers regarding the closure of the tunnel for works. They have known for over two years that the tunnel would need to be closed for structural works – they notified businesses 6 weeks ago. Once again, the NSW Government have not considered the impact of their projects on the very people who elect them – in particular those small business owners.
It would be great to say this is an isolated incident, however as we can see all across NSW, this is a recurring theme. The Small Business Party will continue to work with the Small Business Commissioner in demanding the Government make amends for the destruction they are causing, and ensure these businesses are fairly compensated and respected.
We have been working closely with media to highlight the issues faced by these business owners, and will continue to do so until Government do the right thing. We have met with these business owners every few days since htey received notification of the tunnel closure. These are hardwroking people, with families aroun them and structures which also need support.
Governments continuing to ignore their own people is an injustice, and these elected officials mock democracy when they do so.
See media related to the Hunter Connection below