Bring seat back, shoppers demand

BENCHES GONE: Coral Kleinschmidt would like to see more seating in Bourbong Street. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
BENCHES GONE: Coral Kleinschmidt would like to see more seating in Bourbong Street. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

COMMUNITY members have been left standing after a popular bench was removed from a CBD street.

The seat, located outside Chippindalls on Bourbong St, has been removed by the Bundaberg Regional Council.

Bundaberg mayor Mal Forman confirmed the council removed the chair and said the reason was two-fold.

"Firstly, council received a request from nearby businesses seeking more clearance space for loading and unloading delivery trucks as the location of the seat was causing obstructions," he said.

Council had also received complaints from businesses nearby.

"About cigarette smoke and inappropriate language emanating from users of the park bench, which was obviously a health and safety issue," Cr Forman said.

But the rationale didn't mean much to Bundaberg woman Coral Kleinschmidt as she walked out of Chippindalls and looked up for the chair.

"I'd come out of the shop and I liked to sit down and organise my goods," she said.

Mrs Kleinschmidt said she regularly visited the CBD area and could not fathom how the council could take the seat away. "I wish it would come back," she said.

The disappointed woman recalled more chairs lining the CBD area in previous years and said they'd created a hive of activity that was lost with their removal.

Mrs Kleinschmidt said she was utterly disappointed by the move. "I don't like it," she said.

Brett MacKinnon is riddled with arthritis and was also left standing in the CBD as he looked to rest his legs.

"There's not many benches anymore are there," MacKinnon said.

"I wouldn't mind sitting down right now."

Mr MacKinnon said in the mornings he would buy breakfast from businesses along the street and enjoy eating it as he sat on the bench seat.

But now, he'll be left standing on his feet.

"I just wouldn't sit down and my legs would be sore," Mr MacKinnon said.

The NewsMail understands the chair was moved from one side of Chippindalls to the other, before it was removed - but the council did not know why.

"We're unable to confirm this at this stage as it hasn't been documented.

Perhaps Chippindalls could provide further advice regarding this," Cr Forman said.

The manager of Chippindalls declined to comment. Cr Forman said the seat would be replaced when a "suitable location" was found.

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