FORMED in 2017 to lobby the ACT government for a light rail stop in Mitchell, the Mitchell Traders Association has now been promised a stop in 2020 but that doesn’t mean it’s quietening down anytime soon.
“We need to keep making noise,” says its new president Michael Warnock.
Michael, the director of omniIT, an IT-support business in Mitchell, took over as president at the end of last year.
He’s replaced Anthony Manning who resigned to focus on his business, Phoenix Gym, but remains a member.
Following up on the work started by Anthony and the association’s perennial secretary Julian Kusa, Michael says there’s still lots to be done.
“The Mitchell Traders Association doesn’t stop because of the light rail,” he says.
“We have to make the light rail and its connected bus transport work. We have to help the ACT government make it work. That’s why the Mitchell Traders Association will continue to exist.
“We need to keep knocking on the government’s door. We need them to know that we’re still here and we need a lot more done. They forgot the tram stop because we didn’t have a voice. So we just need to keep reminding them every now and then that we’re still here and we need some attention.”
Even though the Mitchell Traders Association has done a lot in its first two years, Michael says the association has a list of ongoing and proposed projects it wants to get on the move this year.
He says some of the ongoing and proposed projects include tree replacements, duplicating parking on the Flemington Road slip lane and the amalgamation of parking bays in Winchcombe Court.
He also wants to promote Mitchell to the great Canberra region.
The association is in talks with the Australian War Memorial Treloar Technology Centre in Mitchell to run a Mitchell “showcase”, which will coincide with one of its open days.
“They get 10,000 to 15,000 visitors on a Saturday and we need to be adding to that,” he says.
But mainly, Michael says he wants to get Mitchell businesses to talk to each other.
“It’s a thriving place,” he says. “I want to see businesses in Mitchell trading with each other.
“I want to see business owners getting to know each other or getting to know their neighbours.”
While they’re at it, he wants them to get to know the association and get behind it, too.
“We need more members,” he says.
“It’s now time to ramp it up a little bit and show everybody what has happened.
“I want to make a difference and there’s really so much to be done here.
“By having more members we’ll have more people to contribute more. It’s got to be a team effort.”