Italian Baby and Arabella's landlords owed thousands
Owners of the restaurant spaces that were leased to My Italian Baby and Arabella’s are urging the public not to take their frustrations out on the buildings.
Rick McConnell, who owns the building at 22 Wharf Street, where Arabella’s was, said he is also a victim of the dodgy businesses owners.
“I’m the biggest victim in all this, I’ve been paid less than half the amount of rent I am owed,” he said.
“I want to be clear; I don’t owe any staff anything and we don’t want the premises damaged because we are trying to make money for Port Douglas.”
Owner of the Portico building on Mocrossan Street, Marco Piat, where My Italian Baby was situated, echoed Mr McConnell’s concerns.
“We are also a creditor and are owed rent and now it seems like we have an empty restaurant we have to fill,” he said.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission website lists Arabella’s as having been placed into administration whereas My Italian Baby is still listed as a registered business.
Mr McConnell said he is very distressed by having been left in the lurch and without contact by the business owners, Troy and Sarah Holland.
“I haven’t spoken to them since the start of the month, they said they are coming back but how can they open when they have gone into liquidation?” he said.
“I am extremely upset and upset for the staff that worked there; we are trying to do the right thing by Port Douglas and this happens.
“I am asking everyone not to take it out on the premises.”
Mr McConnell isn’t positive about recovering the rent he is owed but is hopeful a new business can take over the lease at 22 Wharf Street soon.
“I am not hopeful, once you liquidate a company, where is the money going to come from?” he said.
“We have negotiations in place to put a new business in there and hopefully, once again, can employ 30-40 local people.”
My Italian Baby and Arabella’s business owners Troy and Sarah Holland are still unable to be contacted.
Any worker seeking advice or assistance can visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.
An interpreter service is available by calling 13 14 50, and information on the website is now translated into 40 languages.
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