Flood­ing gone but so are the vis­i­tors

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS -

me­gan.birot@news.com.au rev­enue no longer cov­ered labour and stock costs.

“Op­er­at­ing within those mar­gins you can only sus­tain that for a short pe­riod of time be­fore the in­evitable hap­pens,” he said.

“We need peo­ple here, en­joy­ing Tum­bul­gum and ev­ery­thing it has to of­fer and spend­ing their money here.”

Gen­eral store owner Ge­off But­ter­worth who has been op­er­at­ing in the area for al­most a decade said the river­side town was still at the mercy of the cy­clone.

“Be­fore the floods we were do­ing pretty well but now we’ve dropped off less than half of what we nor­mally take,” he said.

“Ev­ery­one is strug­gling pay­ing bills, no one is ac­tu­ally mak­ing a profit or earn­ing a wage, it’s ter­ri­ble.”

Fur­ther south in Mur­willum­bah, busi­nesses are still work­ing on re­pairs.

Owner of the Riverview Ho­tel on Tweed Val­ley Way, Michael Sch­led­erer, lost 2000 cases of beer in the floods and said his car­pet and cab­i­netry still needed re­place­ment. “Trade is down of course but that’s ex­pected con­sid­er­ing the amount of dam­age sus­tained to some prop­er­ties,” he said.

Busi­nesses in the re­gion don’t qual­ify for Fed­eral Cat­e­gory C fund­ing and could be wait­ing months for in­sur­ance claims to be pro­cessed.

Bearded Baker Mitch Whit­ing said while trade had picked at his river­side cafe many traders were wor­ried for their fu­ture.

“It’s tough to op­er­ate in those cir­cum­stances when other busi­nesses near you aren’t do­ing well be­cause ul­ti­mately your suc­cess also de­pends on them stay­ing open.”

Tweed Shire coun­cil­lor Pryce All­sop said apart from en­cour­ag­ing traders to ap­ply for the Tweed May­oral Flood Ap­peal and lobby for Cat­e­gory C fund­ing, the coun­cil’s hands were tied.

“We’ve done ev­ery­thing we can at our level,” he said.

“We need the State and Fed­eral gov­ern­ments to step in and we need busi­nesses to help them­selves as well by ap­ply­ing for grants.”

Scenes from the flood­ing that dev­as­tated North­ern NSW in the wake of Cy­clone Deb­bie. Busi­nesses are back on their feet but trade is down by half.

Take a day trip Gold Coast, we need your sup­port: Left to right, Tony Bruner (Smi­leys Lawn Mow­ing), Ge­off But­ter­worth (gen­eral store), Katya Sim­mons (Mt Warn­ing tours), Julie Sharp­less (Bird­wing cafe), Michael Sim­mons (Mt Warn­ing Tours), Lee Kuh­nell (House of Gabriel), Jen­nie Mitchell and Kym Marston (Mt Warn­ing Tours), Mitch Whit­ing (The Bearded Baker). Pic­ture: GLENN HAMP­SON

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