06 Apr Katter urges big businesses to get ‘town-proud’
Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has called on major retailers operating in Mount Isa to get “town-proud” by turning the tide on attitudes of indifference and neglect towards the town’s business premises.
Mr Katter singled out a number of Mount Isa-based major retailers including Kmart, Coles, Bunnings and Woolworths – each of which post profits worth billions annually – for failing to meet the most basic standards of premise presentation and maintenance.
In a video posted to Facebook, the local State Member said the storefronts in Mount Isa were substandard, despite major refurbishments being undertaken in recent years in some cases.
He said bare, ugly concrete walls (often covered in graffiti), unfinished paint jobs, rusted out roofing and a general lack of maintenance and care were among the problems.
“We have these major business in town that suck up a lot of the money, but their board of directors simply don’t seem to care about the standard of premises they present here,” Mr Katter said.
“For example we had a big refurbishment of the Coles/Kmart Complex a few years ago and they have left a big, ugly concrete wall which is now just a canvas for graffiti.
“That’s not how it would be done in Brisbane or anywhere else in the country for that matter, but they seem to think it’s ok to present their premises like that in Mount Isa – that’s not on.”
Mr Katter said the community’s sentiment towards the substandard presentation was made worse by the ongoing frictions between major retailers and small local businesses, the latter of which simply cannot compete with ever-expanding corporations.
“For these big companies that suck the money out of here, they should at the very least be reinvesting in the town because they out-compete our smaller retailers and often force them to shut down,” he said.
“With regards to the Bunnings here, you wouldn’t see that standard of building for Bunnings anywhere else in Queensland.
“They make a lot of money here, particularly after the events of the last 12 months with COVID-19, and it’s time for those directors who sit in the cities to look over all their profits and decide to reinvest in the places they’re making so much money.
“If you want to dominate the business world here in Mount Isa, then it’s your obligation to re-invest and show people that you care about the place and show your staff you care about the place too.”
Mr Katter said he’d had some preliminary discussions with Woolworths representatives about addressing issues at their Mount Isa store, which had been positive