Flood survivors back in business
STAFF at the Midtown Marinas want to send the message to Bundaberg that they are still in business after the summer floods that caused as much as $5 million damage to their site.
The floods that hit the region just after Christmas submerged their two-story building on the banks of the Burnett River under metres of water.
Pontoons, boats and a fuel barge were swept away as staff battled to save as much as they could of their stock.
Five months later, the business will hold an open day on Saturday to let everybody know they are still operating.
General manager Jan Douglas said the chandlery business had moved to premises in the old enterprise centre at the start of the steep drop to the marinas.
“We’re painting it in bright colours so maybe people will notice us,” she said.
“We find a lot of people drive down to the river to the old site and think we’re not operating.”
Some of the marina’s pontoons were operating, but a lot had been lost, she said.
Mrs Douglas said the business had paid extra insurance for items such as business interruption and loss of income, but because it was a flood the insurance companies would not pay out.
“If it had been a cyclone that hit us we would have been right,” she said.
Mrs Douglas said the business had survived because of the help of some volunteers, and because some of their suppliers had agreed to put off being paid until June.
“We’ve applied for a government loan but there is so much paperwork to do it hasn’t come through yet,” she said.
The company had to borrow fixtures to furnish the shop, and was still trying to buy suitable shelving.
It had been unable to rebuild its trawler marina because a landslide caused by the flood had dumped tonnes of mud and mangroves where it had been.
Mrs Douglas said for the open day there would be staff on site all day, a barbecue, a sausage sizzle and in-shop specials.