MEDIA RELEASE: Premier must visit Hamilton small business owners

The NSW Opposition is demanding Premier Mike Baird meet with Hamilton’s small business owners during his visit on Monday to hear their concerns about a rise in assaults, verbal abuse and vandalism.

Small business owners in Hamilton have reported that they have been subjected to assaults, verbal abuse and theft from individuals congregating around the now defunct Hamilton Station precinct since the rail line was cut.

The concerns of the small business owners have gone unheard by the Baird Government with requests by the Hamilton Business Chamber for meetings with Ministers remaining ignored.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Troy Grant was amongst those Ministers who refused to meet with the impacted business owners during his last visit to the area.

Shadow Minister for Small Business Jenny Aitchison and Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp met with affected small businesses earlier this month to discuss their concerns and offer resources and assistance to fight the anti-social behaviour.

Quotes attributable to the Shadow Minister for Small Business Jenny Aitchison

“In my visit to the Hamilton Business Precinct, I was greatly concerned by the stories I heard from a number of small business owners fearing for the safety of their customers, staff and themselves, with assaults and vandalism to their premises.

“The Premier can display the leadership his Ministers have failed to demonstrate by meeting with these affected business owners.

“The Government needs to show strong support for small businesses to ensure they can operate free from intimidation, threats and assault.

“The Premier has said in the past he is willing to go door-to-door to speak with the people of the Hunter. He now has an opportunity to offer support to the people and businesses of Hamilton.”

Quotes attributable to the Shadow Minister for the Hunter Kate Washington

“The Premier needs to step in and take responsibility for the consequences of his Government’s own actions”

“Small businesses in Hamilton are suffering because of this Government’s short sighted transport decisions.”

“Scot MacDonald, the Government’s mouthpiece for the Hunter, has failed the Hamilton business owners. It’s now almost two years after trains began terminating at Hamilton and there’s been no support provided.

Quotes attributable to the Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp

“Both the Minister for Transport and the Minister for Justice and Police have been invited to meet with local businesses to hear first-hand the impacts of their Government’s decisions, the least Premier can do is sit down and listen to their concerns and fill the void created by his Ministers.

“This is just another example of the Government’s lack of commitment to Newcastle.”

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