Evic­tions throw small busi­nesses up in the air

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Scott Tibballs

THE dead­line for the oc­cu­pants of 8 Front St Moss­man to va­cate the prop­erty is now only days away, and the fu­tures of two busi­nesses have been thrown up in the air, while a third has been forced to re­lo­cate only weeks af­ter open­ing.

Since re­ceiv­ing no­tice in late Septem­ber, busi­ness owner Heike An­der­son hasn’t re­ceived any fur­ther cor­re­spon­dence from the dis­charge com­pany, Gadens, which is act­ing on be­half of the mort­gagee, ANZ Bank, and calls go un­re­turned.

“I’m hop­ing to stay un­til af­ter Christ­mas so we can move in the quiet sea­son – this would make ev­ery­one's lives much eas­ier,” said Ms An­der­son, who has owned and op­er­ated Moss­man Flo­ral Bou­tique for 24 years.

She ex­plained that the Christ­mas pe­riod is one of the busiest times of year for her, and to move would place sig­nif­i­cant strain on her busi­ness.

The un­cer­tainty and lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion means she has held off on or­der­ing in Christ­mas sup­plies or even putting up dec­o­ra­tions.

In the let­ter to Ms An­der­son sighted by the it’s ex­plained that the mort­gagee (ANZ Bank) “in­tends to ob­tain va­cant pos­ses­sion of the prop­erty.”

Ms An­der­son is yet to se­cure another lo­ca­tion for her busi­ness.

For Mary Hous­ton, coowner of The Shop of Many Every­things, and a 15-year res­i­dent of an apart­ment above the shops, the evic­tion no­tice came only weeks af­ter she opened her busi­ness, and her fu­ture has been thrown into dis­ar­ray.

“We un­der­stand we don’t own the build­ing, (but) couldn't you just come by and say look, this is what’s hap­pen­ing, we can find some­thing for you or help you.

“We’re so stuck we’ve gone and spent all our money on a con­tainer for all our stuff.,” she said.

Ms Hous­ton said that like Ms An­der­son, all in­quiries with the dis­charge com­pany and mort­gagee had gone un­re­turned.

“It’s been more or less ‘we don’t care who you are, we don’t want to know you, get out.”

For Ms Hous­ton the prospect of busi­nesses be­ing snuffed out at the north­ern end of Front St is un­fair for the com­mu­nity.

“It’s just such a shame be­cause we’ve had such a good come­back with the shops and for it to come to this is lu­di­crous.

“I’m so con­fused – I start pack­ing and then I sit down be­cause I don’t know what I’m do­ing.”

Ms Hous­ton has also so far failed to se­cure a new lo­ca­tion.

The third busi­ness owner af­fect, Deb­o­rah Pearce of Bam­boo Heart had also only re­cently opened her store, but said that she had man­aged to se­cure a new lo­ca­tion in Moss­man.

Ac­cord­ing to Ms Pearce, she re­ceived no no­ti­fi­ca­tion that the build­ing needed to be va­cated be­cause the mort­gagee was not even aware the third shop was oc­cu­pied.

Pic­ture: SCOTT TIBBALLS

Mary Hous­ton, co-owner of Shop of Many Every­things on Front St Moss­man

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