Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Hostel Is 'Bad for Business' Hostel Residents Blamed for Declining Business

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Hostel Is 'Bad for Business' Hostel Residents Blamed for Declining Business

Article excerpt

HELEN

SPELITIS

helen.spelitis@qt.com.au

BUSINESS owners at North Booval say they're suffering heavy financial losses as their block becomes a "no-go zone" for would-be customers.

Owners say residents from nearby assisted living hostel Christine Court are often seen approaching people stopping at the shops, asking for cigarettes or money, which they say is driving customers away.

One business owner is facing closure after losing half his clients and wants the hostel's management to take action.

One woman in particular has become the focus of the businesses' distress and raised welfare concerns; she is often there late at night, even sleeping in the laundromat, and has been collected by the police multiple times in the past six months.

The State Government investigated last month, following a formal complaint, but found no wrong-doing on behalf of the hostel's management.

Christine Court owner Grant Kelly said he understood the business owners' concerns but has labelled their methods, including starting a Facebook page calling for the centre to be shut down, discriminatory.

Mr Kelly said while the residents' presence might represent a burden, the people living at Christine Court were part of the community and didn't deserve the negative attention a targeted social media campaign can create.

For business owners, starting the Facebook page which went up in early November was a last resort.

Brady Jones, has been running De Vyne Hair Studio on Gledson St, North Booval for two years.

In the past six months half of his clients have told him they've found somewhere else to go with some saying they are "too scared" to keep coming back.

Now the loss of business has left Mr Jones with a tough decision to make, one that might not see the doors open again after Christmas.

"If everything keeps going the way it has been in the past six months we won't make it," Mr Jones said.

"I don't think a facility like Christine Court should be here in the middle of suburbia. …

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