Marina halfway into expensive recovery

WHILE many Bundaberg people had to endure their homes and business being flooded once or twice during the 2010 Christmas floods, Midtown Marinas owner Ray Foley was forced to watch as his business was swallowed by the Burnett River three times.

But the three floods, three clean-ups and three heartbreaking stocktakes of the damage done are now in Mr Foley's rear-view mirror as he slowly rebuilds his business.

"We're about halfway there," he said.

"It's very expensive to rebuild. We had three rows (of marina berths) and we got a quote to get one row put in and it was $1 million plus GST."

Prior to the floods, the business boasted 60 marina berths and 50 moorings.

Twelve months later, the business has managed to build itself up to 30 marina berths and 25 moorings.

"It's been a very hectic and very fast year," Mr Foley said of 2011.

"We were lucky because we had a lot of helpers."

Since the floods, the main chandlery has been moved up to Quay St, while the original building is now used as a workshop.

"It's great up here, though - the seafood sales jumped dramatically and the boating gear sales are back to where they were," he said.

Mr Foley said members of the community, family, friends, suppliers and his staff had been a huge help in the recovery.

But, like Spinnaker operator Brett Jensen, he too had been hit by looters and thieves in the past year.

"There are some real lowlifes around," Mr Foley said.

He said predictions of rain were still a scary prospect.

"The big problems is that everything is full - all the dams," he said.



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