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Slate Cafe owner Dominic Le and manager Teegan Rutherford say their cafe has been running at a loss since the roadworks began.

Slate Cafe asks for help as roadworks drag on

THE closure of Marshall Road and Dayton Boulevard will continue until mid-November, with contractor CBP unable to finish roadworks due to record rainfall.

However it may spell disaster for a Bennett Springs café, who have been running at a loss for the entire duration of the works.

CBP were engaged to construct a new intersection connecting New Lord St with Marshall Rd in Bennet Springs and Dayton Blvrd in Dayton and a new roundabout connecting Lord St to Dayton Blvrd, Isoodon St and Marshall Rd, with Marshall Rd being closed from May 1 and scheduled to be re-opened at the conclusion of roadworks on August 21.

The contractors were granted a four-week extension that did not need to be ratified by Council, pushing the closure of Marshall Rd out.

However significant rainfall in August – 186mm, the wettest August in 50 years – has resulted in the contractor applying to the City of Swan for a nine-week extension until November 18.

Normally, any road closure longer than four weeks needs to be put out for advertising, public comment and then endorsed by council, a process that can take up to three months – during which time the road would be required to be re-opened.

However the condition of the roads would be considered dangerous, and at a Special Council Meeting on Wednesdy night, council voted unanimously to approve a one-off delegation to the CEO to enable consideration to decide the outcome of the application to extend the closure of Marshall Rd and Dayton Blvrd.

For Slate Café owners Dominic and Quan Le the situation is almost untenable.

Their Café is located off Marshall Road, and their business is down 23 per cent on last year.

Effectively, they’ve been running at a loss since May.

They recognise the need for the roadworks to be finished, but they desperately need help, and at last night’s council meeting, they submitted a petition calling on the City of Swan to help them recoup costs from either CBP or Main Roads WA.

“We’d like to have a conversation about compensation.

“We agree with the road being closed, we want the extension so the road can be completed as soon as possible, but we also need help from the City of Swan so we find the right way to speak to Main Roads WA and get some compensation.

“The only people who come here now are people who already know, we don’t get any drive-by visitors.

“It says the road is open to local traffic and there is a sign to the Café but they just don’t see it.

“It’s really hurting our business, we wish they could be more specific with the signs to let people know we are still open but it seems like Main Roads and the contractors aren’t interested.”

Main Roads WA did not respond to questions regarding compensation by deadline, however there are numerous other examples – one being the safety upgrades on Great Eastern Highway – where they have been unwilling to offer compensation to business owners.

About Liam Ducey

Liam Ducey is an experienced journalist, having worked in print media in Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Port Hedland, Bunbury and across the metropolitan area, as well as online for several Fairfax Media mastheads. His reporting has seen him awarded the 2013 Clubs WA award for Best Club Media Story and the Western Australian Football Commission Umpiring Media Award in 2014. He was a finalist in three categories in the 2018 WA Media Awards and is not at all salty that he didn't win at least one. He's recently had a baby girl, Emilia, with his wife Roselyn and has lost all concept of time and sleep.

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