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Southie stigma 'not justified'

Monday, 27th May, 2013

By Erica Visser

The prejudice surrounding "the South" is almost as old as the city itself, but it needs to stop now, according to a Patton Street retailer.

Bell's Milk Bar owner Jason King said that part the reason for his heading the Patton Village committee was to begin to break down the "them and us" mentality between South BH and the rest of the city.

"I think the South has a lot to offer but if there's no demand for it, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy," Mr King said.

"I've heard of real estate agents actually discouraging people from buying out the South.

"I don't know why this started, all I know is people keep telling me it's always been like that.

"I think it's a shame we have to have this conversation."

Century 21 real estate agent Matt Handberg confirmed that there were a smaller number of buyers willing to invest in the South.

"I don't agree with it at all. I think it's an old stigma that has stemmed from generations back," Mr Handberg said.

"It's one of those things - it's outdated and I don't think there's any justification for it."

Mr Handberg said that the fact that fewer people were willing to buy in the South meant prices could "potentially by lower".

"But I think it is probably saleable if you've got the right price and appropriate marketing."

Mr King said that he was not worried about his ability to sell his business if there ever came a time.

"I see the location as an advantage rather than a disadvantage," he said.

"Wouldn't it be great if more people took a risk and started a business out in South Broken Hill?

"It's kind of a Catch 22 we've got to work with. If we do an event in Patton Street we have people asking if we got many people from the North coming over. If there's an event in Sturt Park, no one would ask how many people came from the South."

Mr King said that it was "frustrating" for someone in his position, who hoped the Patton Village could become a must-see site for tourists along with Menindee and Silverton.

"There is a huge potential with the Film Studio precinct down the road and, whatever happens when Coles leaves, there's a building and massive block of land there."

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