PUBLICANS FORCED TO CLOSE AS PROF­ITS PLUM­MET

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - SAM TURNER sam.turner@cnbtimes.com.au

JUST two weeks af­ter coro­n­avirus re­stric­tions came into place for li­censed venues, this pop­u­lar Bur­nett pub has had to close its doors.

The Star Ho­tel Eidsvold has been an in­sti­tu­tion in the North Bur­nett for decades, but will be shut for the fore­see­able fu­ture.

Af­ter be­ing li­censed for the first time in 1896 the pub has only closed twice be­fore due to fire and flood.

As the pan­demic crisis con­tin­ues, publicans Kinta and Rick Git­sham said it was not vi­able to con­tinue oper­at­ing in the coun­try town while re­stric­tions were in place.

“We’ve made a de­ci­sion to save our busi­ness, in order to con­serve every­thing for when we can open af­ter this is over,” Mrs Git­sham said.

Pubs across the na­tion have been re­stricted to sell­ing take­away food and al­co­hol.

The Star’s main source of in­come how­ever was from al­co­hol sales over the bar, and the pok­ies.

Prior to the pan­demic, the Star hosted Aus­tralian coun­try mu­sic sen­sa­tion Cather­ine Britt, and had been gear­ing up for the Eidsvold Cam­p­draft.

Now the fu­ture of the Star’s eight staff is up in the air and only one of them is el­i­gi­ble for the work­ers’ stim­u­lus wage.

Bar­tender Lani Reid is one of the em­ploy­ees now un­cer­tain about her fu­ture, af­ter start­ing at the pub in Jan­uary.

“I was only plan­ning on stay­ing here for a lit­tle bit but I thought the place was per­fect, and they of­fered me work un­til Au­gust,” she said.

“Now what am I meant to do?”

The Git­shams have been oper­at­ing the pub since Au­gust 2018, and even with the cur­rent crisis, they’re op­ti­mistic they’ll come out on the other side.

“We just have to con­serve what we have at the mo­ment, be­cause my gut feel­ing is that it will be months un­til we can trade nor­mally again,” Mrs Git­sham said.

Pic­ture: Sam Turner

WE'LL BE BACK: Bar­tender Lani Reid and Star Ho­tel pub­li­can Kinta Git­sham.

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