Scarborough foreshore redevelopment: cafe owner says State Govt compensation plan left him ‘sick to stomach’

Boho Espresso owner Donny Collins said it was too late for his once bustling cafe to re-open its doors. Photo: Kate Leaver
Boho Espresso owner Donny Collins said it was too late for his once bustling cafe to re-open its doors. Photo: Kate Leaver

A SCARBOROUGH business owner said he was “sick to his stomach” about a State Government compensation plan for disruption caused by the $75 million foreshore redevelopment.

Planning minister Rita Saffioti announced this morning that affected businesses would be given a one-off compensation payment, which would equate to half of the land tax payment for the year.

Wild Fig cafe owner Chris Burke said his business had lost about $1 million in revenue and about $400,000 in profits.

Mr Burke said he would only be eligible for $440.86 in compensation.

“It feels like all throughout this process I have tried to be approachable or reasonable; I am absolutely sick to my stomach,” he said.

“I feel like this is a headline grabbing exercise.

“If Rita brought herself and her staffers to my venue and had a bottle of wine with dinner that would be worth more to me than this.”

Mr Burke said the “worst was yet to come” with the redevelopment works and he had restructured and cut all he could to save money.

“They haven’t even started ripping up the path, all of that is due to happen in peak trade in December this year,” he said.

Boho Espresso owner Donny Collins said it was too late for his once bustling cafe to re-open its doors.

“I think unfortunately we had to jump ship because of the redevelopment; the compensation has come too late,” he said.

“If they were on track to compensate us throughout last year we would have been fine.

“At this stage I’ve got no choice other than to seek legal advice .”

Ms Saffioti said the Government had acted as “quickly as possible” to introduce support for traders.

“While I accept there is some disruption that comes with construction, and that many efforts have been made to mitigate the impacts of those works, we do not want to be a Government that ignores the situation,” she said.

“We inherited a process that had no mechanism in place to support local businesses and we had to develop this process from scratch – the previous minister failed to address this issue.”