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Southsiders bitter at suburb’s neglect

Friday, 9th May, 2014

One disgruntled person has summed up the sentiments of many South residents since its only supermarket closed last month. One disgruntled person has summed up the sentiments of many South residents since its only supermarket closed last month.

By Erica Visser

There’s “nothing left” for people living in South Broken Hill, says Alan Tucker.

There’s been a depressed air about the South since its only supermarket closed three weeks ago.

Spiderwebs have spread over the windows of the once-bustling Coles Patton Street site and someone has written “We need a new shop” in spray paint on two different walls.

Outspoken resident and former city councillor Alan Tucker has lived “out the south” since 1972.

He said yesterday that it was sad to watch its slow decline.

“It’s a real shame after all these years. When I moved out here the was a butchers, there were shops. But now we have nothing,” Mr Tucker said.

“It’s an adjustment ... my wife said yesterday, ‘We need some potatoes, I’ll shoot up Coles - Oh no, I can’t go there now.’

“It’s alright to say it’s five minutes over the hill but there’s nothing left for us anymore,” Mr Tucker said.

Coles has arranged for six buses to run from South BH to its new Broken Hill Village in Gossan Street daily.

But Mr Tucker said that many South residents would not shop there “out of principle”.

“I saw a bus sitting there waiting for people to hop onto it yesterday and no one was there,” he said.

“My family won’t go to Coles out of principle. I got that feeling that most of the community will go to Woolies.”

He said that the South at present was bleak and City Council had allowed it to become “run down”.

“Things are gradually closing and the place is not looked after.

“We’re thinking of putting a sign up on South Hill and the backtrack saying that it’s going to cost 10 bucks if you visit.

“It’s an ageing area, we’re not gaining any population. New people won’t move to the South. They haven’t for years and years and years.”

Another South resident, Karl ‘Otto’ Hahn, also expressed his disappointment with Coles’ closing.

The 71-year-old took the bus to the new shopping centre but said he was caught in the rain as there was no shelter.

“My shopping goods were drenched and I looked like a scalded cat,” Mr Hahn said.

“Could I be so bold as to suggest to ... get rid off ... two car spaces ... to give the travelling public somewhere to sit and hide when dust storms, heat, hail and the welcome deluge arrive?

“Surely we Southies deserve a bit of common sense and safety of sorts?”

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