UNSIGHTLY graffiti in the city's CBD has seen Newcastle councillor Jenny Barrie call on property owners to clean up their act.
With the construction of Iris Capital's East End Village project expected to take three years, Cr Barrie said she wants to find a collaborative approach to keep the Hunter Street Mall clean and existing retailers and cafes operating.
"The whole look of the city is terrible, there's construction and then there's this," she said.
"I just feel that the civic pride isn't there, the residents are despondent and think that it's 'third world' - it would be nice to freshen it up and brighten it up.
"If I was a tourist I may as well go to Charlestown Square, why go into the city? There's nothing there to make people think this is a beautiful city and this is the heart of the city."
At Tuesday night's meeting, Cr Barrie will ask the council to write to property owners in the mall precinct and throughout the CBD's 'special business rated' commercial areas asking them to remove graffiti, clean their shopfronts and request regular cleaning of footpaths.
In her motion, she said the three-year construction time frame in the mall will cause more disruption, dust and debris which will need constant maintenance to ensure the area is clean for residents and attracts tourists and shoppers.
Cr Barrie said she wants City of Newcastle to write to Telstra, Ausgrid and other organisations that have had utilities "attacked" in the mall and CBD to remove all graffiti.
Alongside that, Cr Barrie wants to investigate options to help retain businesses, retailers and cafes in the mall while major "city shaping projects" are built.
The motion argues that foot traffic to the mall was reduced after three retailers closed their doors in April.
It asks the council to review past strategies like Renew Newcastle to activate empty premises and to write to Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp for information on funding for a business retention survey, wayfinding projects and place activation.
She said something needs to be done about the city centre.
"I'm amazed nobody else has jumped up and down about this, do they walk around with their eyes shut?," she said.
"You've got out-of-area property owners as one problem, businesses that don't want to take the risk of people falling over, a council that probably needs to get in there and clean up the leaves and the area.
"If we highlight it surely the pressure on all parties for a coordinated and collaborative approach is better than nobody doing anything at all."
Councillors will consider the motion on Tuesday.
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