Business left in the dark after Debbie
DAYDREAM Island worker Anthony Nobilia was perfectly happy as the director of photography in the business Island Photos, but after not being able to get back to work following Cyclone Debbie, he’s afraid he’s been left to slip through the cracks.
Mr Nobilia began with Island Photos seven years ago but his business has come to an abrupt halt after Daydream Island announced they would be closing until June 2018.
After applying for a number of cyclone-related government grants and loans to help the business recover, Mr Nobilia realised there was nothing available to him.
“We don’t fit one particular part of criteria for the $25,000 grant... we didn’t get it simply because we are not repairing, there is no physical damage (to the store). However we are re-visiting that because some of our equipment now doesn’t work,” he said.
He was also unsuccessful with the $100,000 discounted rate loan to re-establish a business on the mainland.
Mr Nobilia said he understood there were set rules for the grants and loans, but he believed there should be some support available to people who had their businesses affected by the cyclone.
“I’m hoping to highlight our predicament so that the government understands... and possibly comes out with a grant that does help people in our situation,” he said.
“The government was claiming to be there and helping all these people - but they weren’t there for us at all.”
Without a clear answer on whether he’ll be operate on Daydream Island again, Mr Nobilia said he was still hopeful of a positive outcome.
Mr Nobilia said Whitsunday councillor Ron Petterson had been a big help investigating grants.
THE adrenaline has worn off and reality is setting in and the reality is tough.
Too busy – or not busy enough. Needing more staff but can’t find them?
From needing to cut staff hours to cashflow issues, from too much or too little trade as well as insurance issues and supply issues. The list goes on.
The Whitsundays are open for business, but there seem to be bottlenecks at nearly every stage of the recovery process.
Certainly in Airlie, more than 30 businesses remain closed, including some major traders.
The Lagoon is not expected to reopen until August and tourist numbers are down dramatically - and Proserpine is faring no better.
Now the clean-up is over and the initial flurry of works are done, the momentum seems to have been lost through insurance delays, material supply delays and logistics issues as
NO HELP: Director of Island Photos Anthony Nobilia said there were no grants available to him despite no longer being able to work due to the cyclone.