BUSINESS DOWN: Sophie Lamb, Robert Beil and Zac Hancock say roadworks have hurt their butcher shop.
BUSINESS DOWN: Sophie Lamb, Robert Beil and Zac Hancock say roadworks have hurt their butcher shop. Michael Doyle

Highway roadworks digging away profits

BUSINESSES along the Warrego Highway are reporting losses of 60 per cent since access to their stores has been impaired by roadworks.

The situation has become so desperate for one businessman he has taken a second job to maintain his butchery.

Robert Beil from Southside Quality Meats said he believed there should be some form of compensation for businesses directly affected by the highway upgrade.

"This week I have lost money just to keep the butcher open,” he said.

"Trade has plummeted.”

When the Dalby Herald asked the Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, if compensation would be considered, his office provided an interesting response.

"Businesses have reported improved conditions as a result of the influx of workers during construction,” a spokeswoman said.

"We are working with businesses that have reported reduced patronage, providing additional signs and other measures to ensure minimal disruptions to their operations.

"Although we are always mindful of the impacts of roadworks and strive to minimise inconvenience to businesses, we do not compensate businesses for loss of trade resulting from roadworks.”

Mr Beil said he did not believe any business on the Warrego Highway had benefited from the roadworks.

He said the only businesses benefiting would be the ones in town - "because they are getting the people who usually go to the businesses on the highway”.

The manager of Southside Foodmart, Kerry Johnson, said he could no longer continue his business because of the downturn.

Mr Johnson said he would not renew the lease for the store in October, ending his six years in charge of the shop.

"We are going broke, it is slowly killing us,” Mr Johnson said.

"I had to decline my rent one week to keep my head above water.

"We use to have 800-900 customers through our shop (a day); we are flat out getting to 150.”

Mr Johnson said he also believed businesses directly effected by the roadworks should be compensated.

The department spokeswoman said the project was still on track to finish late this year.


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