Local retail owners say that the construction of the $2.1 billion light rail project is destroying the viability of their businesses, with the NSW Government and City of Sydney facing backlash over these problems, reports Alt Media.
The light rail is now due to be completed in early 2019, after construction suffering delay for the second time since the project started 18 months ago.
Retailers on Sydney’s main street are suffering a revenue loss of up to 40 percent in the face of ongoing delays, according to George Street Vivo café owner and Independent City of Sydney Councillor Angela Vithoulkas.
“There are hundreds of devastated small businesses right across the light rail route from the CBD to Anzac Parade, and collectively we are losing millions of dollars a month,” she said. Ms Vithoulkas says that neither Premier Gladys Berejiklian nor Sydney Mayor Clover Moore have responded to pleas for help from distressed local retailers.
Ms Vithoulkas says her café business cannot possibly recuperate without compensation for their losses from the government. “My business is heavily devastated. My landlord has told me they won’t be renewing my lease because they will be able to put another tenant in at the end of the light rail construction and get more rent from them.
“I will have no future, no job, and no way of feeding my family. I have been living with a guillotine over my head for the past two years with two more to go. And I’m just one story,” she said.