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A NOT SO MERRY CHRISTMAS FOR MARIE

Tags: Gawler / Public Transport

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  • By Light Electoral Office
  • Dec 29, 2020
A NOT SO MERRY CHRISTMAS FOR MARIE

 

Heritage Café Owner Marie San Gabriel with local MP Tony Piccolo. The vacant spot on the counter marks where the metro ticketing machine once stood.

 

The Marshall Liberal Government has been accused of appalling behaviour that could lead to the closing of a small business in Gawler.

The Heritage Café at the Gawler Railway Station faces an uncertain future as a number of State Government decisions have had a devastating impact on the financial viability of the important, but small business.

Local Member of Parliament, Mr Tony Piccolo who is advocating for the small family business said that current owner Marie San Gabriel took over the ownership of the café on 1 October 2020, knowing that sales were down because of COVID 19 and rail electrification disruption, but she never expected the State Government to treat her in such a heartless manner.

“Marie managed the café from earlier in the year on behalf of the previous owners so she knew it was going to be tough, but she never expected the State Government to act in a way that would undermine the future of the café,” said Mr Piccolo.

“The Café provides important services to people who use trains to travel.”

“If the café closes it will be just another example of how this government doesn’t care about public transport users in Gawler and surrounding districts.”

“The previous owner was given a rent waiver, because they were eligible for jobkeeper, however Marie has not been eligible to register for job-keeper despite sales being down, as she doesn't have the comparative figures in her own name.”

“As a result, the State Government has refused to give her a rent waiver because she is ineligible for job keeper, despite sales crashing because people are not using the trains because of the electrification disruption.”

“Ms San Gabriel is caught up in a bureaucratic catch 22.”

Mr Piccolo said the pain inflicted upon this small business by the Marshall Liberal Government sadly doesn’t end there.

“To add insult to injury, with the reduced numbers of travellers going through the cafe, metro ticket sales are drastically down so the State Government has removed the metro ticketing machine from the café, further reducing the viability of the café.”

“The metro ticketing machine has apparently now been located at a newspaper store and will be unavailable to the Cafe for another 18 months”

“The ticketing machine was not only a source of revenue creating additional foot traffic leading to other sales for the café but is also a service to the travelling public.”

“Customers are complaining about not being able to purchase Metro cards at the cafe, the most convenient place for them to purchase them,” added Mr Piccolo.

Mr Piccolo said he understands that, despite all the stress and hassles, Marie is still keen to run the café as long as she can have the metro ticketing machine returned and rent relief while the train services are disrupted by the electrification project.”

 

 

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