With the upgrade works nearing completion and summer approaching, it’s time to look at boosting Queen Street’s nightlife, two local representatives say.
Penrith Councillor Aaron Duke and Londonderry MP Prue Car say it is time for Penrith Council to give St Marys’ Town Centre its “fair share of attention” and have begun agitating to enliven evening activities for businesses and residents alike.
“The reality is, works along Queen Street have been going on for some time, which has been frustrating for local businesses to say the least, and I think Council owes it to businesses to look at ways to improve the night-time economy,” Cr Duke said.
“All these new suburbs like Ropes Crossing are essentially next to St Marys… there are so many new young families and new apartment buildings on Queen Street, why wouldn’t we be giving these people the opportunity close to home to go out at night?”
Ms Car also pledged her support, recently writing to Council calling on it to be “as equally encouraging of Queen Street’s night-time economy as we are of High Street in Penrith”.
“I have written to the Mayor John Thain to ask how Penrith Council can work to activate Queen Street, which I believe has true potential to be a thriving night-time economy,” the State MP said.
“Penrith has night markets and a dining precinct, but what do we have in Queen Street?”
The pair say Coachman’s Park as well as Queen Street’s wide berth lend themselves to replicating Penrith Panthers’ Aussie Night Markets or even a night-time version of the iconic Spring Festival, due to be held next month.
“I would love to see night markets in Coachman’s Park and I will be working with Penrith City Council and the St Marys Town Centre to see this come about,” Ms Car vowed.
Meanwhile, a Council spokesman told the Weekender Council is working with Spring Festival organisers to ensure Queen Street will be safe, accessible and ready to host this year’s festival.
“Any remaining construction within Queen Street will be away from the main area of the festival,” he said.
Emily Newton is the Weekender’s police and political reporter. Emily is also the Weekender’s Senior Journalist.