Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

'There's No Jobs in Mur'bah'; Owners of Closed Burger Joint Lament Lack of Work Opportunities

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

'There's No Jobs in Mur'bah'; Owners of Closed Burger Joint Lament Lack of Work Opportunities

Article excerpt

Byline: Rick Koenig rick.koenig@tweeddailynews.com.au

THE owners of a closed burger joint in Murwillumbah say high rent and a poor economic climate in the town has forced them to shut-up shop.

Justina Curtis and Scott Armstrong moved from Melbourne to open the Murwillumbah Burger Bar in May 2018 but had to "draw the line" this week after not paying themselves for more than a year.

"Sadly it's not viable to keep going, every shopkeeper will tell you the rent is very high for a small country town and after not paying ourselves for more than a year we just have to draw the line and move on," Ms Curtis said.

The restaurant was part of the highly regarded "Burger Collective" website, which links burger enthusiasts to the best eats in the country.

Ms Curtis said Murwillumbah had a real problem with employment opportunities, which was not being acknowledged by the Tweed Shire Council.

"All the young people have to go to the Gold Coast, there's nothing here, we would have about two people a week coming in asking for work, and we'd just have to say sorry," she said.

"Council has said Murwillumbah is on the cusp of greatness for business but if you look around, all the shopkeepers, everyone is struggling here.

"It seems there is a real disconnect and acknowledging there is a problem is the first step in fixing it, here in Murwillumbah in the main street, the trees are dying, I went around counting the empty shopfronts recently and it's about a quarter empty.

"Even our suppliers have said they noticed it's bad in Murwillumbah."

Ms Curtis said she loved the area and wanted to stay but would need to go where the work is.

Selling the business is another obstacle.

"We've had it on the market for a while but in this economic climate and the high cost of rent, it's not looking good," she said.

"I have a background in digital marketing and just produced the website for Janelle Saffin but will need to go where the jobs are. …

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