Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Tavern to Tackle Govt on Flood Pay

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Tavern to Tackle Govt on Flood Pay

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Davies adam.davies@thechronicle.com.au

CLAIM INCLUDES:

Use of premises: $39,000

Supply of food and consumables from hotel stock: $4000

Loss of catering income: $12,500

Loss of bar income: $11,400

Co-ordination of evacuation centre activities: $34,000

Forensic compound and storage centre: $9300

THE owners of the Murphys Creek Tavern have launched legal action after their business expense claim accrued during the 2011 flood disaster was rejected.

Owners James and Lynette Barns sought $246,712 compensation from the Department of Communities, Queensland Police Service and Lockyer Valley Regional Council for out-of-pocket business expenses accrued during the 2011 flood disaster.

The documents were lodged in the Ipswich District Court by Toowoomba firm Condon Charles Lawyers.

Central to the claim is the State Governmentas backflip in recognising the tavern as being used as an evacuation and recovery centre at the height of the disaster and in the weeks after.

The State Government has told Mr and Mrs Barns what they did was unauthorised.

A personal letter to the couple from former Queensland Premier Anna Bligh contradicts this.

The letter, dated March 29, 2011, states:

aThe assistance provided by Mr and Mrs Barns in the weeks after the flood is another example of Queenslanders helping their community in times of need and I thank them for making the Murphys Creek Tavern available as an evacuation centre, then later a recovery centre during this difficult time,a Mrs Bligh wrote.

The court documents show Mr and Mrs Barns are seeking compensation of $139,661.50 from the Lockyer Valley Regional Council, $83,248 from the Department of Communities and $23,100 from the Queensland Police Service.

Talking exclusively to The Chronicle yesterday, Murphys Creek Tavern manager Sue Haughey said the heartless stance beggared belief. …

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