Simonn Hawke has run Orange’s fine dining restaurant Lolli Redini for 18 years.
And in that time she has never seen Orange City Council repair the now broken and battered footpath out the front of the Sale Street eatery.
Ms Hawke said she has contacted council twice in the past two years without getting any response.
She said she and business neighbours, her sister Coco Pogonoski who runs Hawke’s General Store and Dr Hugh Lukin who has a practice next door, were fed up with the lack of help they have received.
“As a collective we just think it’s disgraceful this issue hasn’t been addressed,” Ms Hawke said.
“This is a heritage area, it’s attractive, it’s a tourist precinct that generates a lot of revenue in the town.
“[But] the aesthetic of it is horrible and the safety issue is problematic for us, too.”
“This is a licenced premises, if someone goes out and trips over, it is probably going to come back on me, even though it’s a council area,” she said.
It just looks so ugly when we’ve got such a pretty little precinctSimonn Hawke, owner Lolli Redini
Ms Hawke said the footpath was “extremely worn out and has chunks of loose bitumen on the surface.”
She said the problem was made worse during garbage collection when the bins were placed back on the broken path surface by the truck.
“It just looks so ugly when we’ve got such a pretty little precinct,” she said.
Ms Hawke said Dr Lukin was concerned about his patients, many who were elderly, tripping on the broken bitumen path.
“I’m not begrudging that council has priorities [for footpath repair]. I don’t see why we’re left out of the equation,” she said.
“I’ve never seen it patched [in 18 years].”
Council spokesman Nick Redmond said council staff had inspected the site and it would be repaired soon as part of regular maintenance.
“It is apparent the path has been recently damaged from an impact,” he said.
Mr Redmond said footpaths in the area were to be upgraded as part of planned CBD improvements.
The council’s ageing and access committee has just referred several footpaths to council for repair due to difficulties for people with disabilities.
Committee member Sue Duchnaj said she joined because she was concerned about the state of the paths.
“I myself have tripped a few times in front of Venue Cafe in Anson street, I regained myself, but a disabled or aged person would have no chance,” she said.
She urged people to speak up, and even join the committee, to get footpaths improved.
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