An organisation that formed earlier this year to help boost economic development throughout the Bunbury Geographe region has said the most decisive issue in trying to retain vibrancy in the CBD is finding new uses for unoccupied spaces.
Go Geo stakeholders and communications manager Emma Nesbitt said Bunbury needed to utilise its assets more strategically.
“Cities, like Bunbury require constant new inputs in the form of innovations based on human insights,” she said.
“We need to be able to change and adapt to circumstances and needs – right now, we need to be more flexible on what options we allow into the CBD.”
Ms Nesbitt said not all empty premises needed to be filled with retail options.
“It is time to look at other options such as service centres, youth facilities, inner city living and inner-city education hubs,” she said.
“Inner-city living and education, requires a need for more community space, will fill our restaurants, create a need for more service based business and create an atmosphere of energy and interest.
“The train station back in the CBD will immediately generate wallets past windows in the CBD streets.”
Ms Nesbitt said she believed rhetoric around leases being too high and landlords over charging needed to be changed.
“What needs to change, is the negative press and here-say commentary that happens internally within the community and is then shared on public online forums,” she said.
“We need to stand up and promote Bunbury.”