In the wake of a violent attack in Mandurah’s Smart Street Mall, local businesses have called on the community to embrace the “heart” of their city and help revitalise the central precinct.
Local store owner Raelene Blyth said the area had plenty of potential to become a vibrant shopping precinct, and labelled the mall as a safe and pleasant place to do business.
Her business, The Fairy Dell, has been operating in the region for more than 20 years.
Ms Blyth said she recently joined the City of Mandurah’s Smart Street Precinct Working Group because she was “fed-up” of negative opinions on the area and wanted help make proactive steps towards a positive future.
“We just want people to give us a go,” she said.
“Don’t believe everything you hear on social media. It’s quite safe here. It’s not a hub of violence. You don’t come up against these things every.”
Kings Park Fashion owner and manager Karen Wardrop said businesses in the mall worked hard and cared about the community.
She said while two serious attacks had occurred over the past few months, they were isolated incidents.
“I have been trading in Mandurah now for 12 years. I love Mandurah, our customers, my staff. This is a great location to trade in and to come to. We just need the public to come back to support these struggling businesses,” she said.
“It’s a safe environment. Feel proud of Mandurah, stand tall and don’t listen to talk of it being a location to avoid. We need you.
“Keep the wheel turning. Keep Mandurah alive and vibrant.
“The heart of Mandurah needs to be nurtured.”
Ms Wardrop said the mall should be an engaging area that links the city to the new bridge and boardwalk. “I agree with many comments that the mall is tired, however, I am hearing that plans are in place for the beautification of the area.”
Mandurah local Dianna Bartel said she had been shopping in the area for the past 25 years and considered the mall a safe place. “The shop owners are all nice people and provide a good service,” she said.
“I frequently shop here… and I always feel safe.”
Local man Tony Whiting said he constantly passed through the mall across the past nine years and “always felt safe”.
“I’ve never had any issues here,” he said.
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