Restauranters and cafe owners in Southbank have been wallopped with a 30 per cent increase in rent courtesy of State Government.
The State recently took over the operations of Southbank Corporation claiming cost efficiency as a major driver. Southbank Corporation is the landlord for the restaurants along Grey and Little Stanley as well as those tucked into the Southbank Parklands.
Because of its role in maintaining the parklands, Brisbane City Council has been caught in the crossfire. Lord Mayor Quirk was recently pictured on the Westender Website putting a shovel into the sand next to the revamped City Beach. The revamping was largely in response to the extraordinary health challenges involved in maintaining an open air swimming pool with a sandy bottom, under trees containing an active bird population and surrounded by wooden infrastructure. The challenges of keeping the bacterial load below acceptable standards are immense.
Whether it is because of the bill for that investment or simply that the State government intends to milk its new cash cow ‘til it bleeds, we don’t know.
The official statement quotes the high cost of operating and marketing of Southbank. Small business owners who spoke to Westender suggested that with a stated passion for supporting small business and billions in their pocket thanks to the G20, the State Government might have waited for a bit before gouging its newest tenants.