Two Port Douglas restaurants under investigation

BUSINESS BREAKDOWN

Victoria Stone-Meadows

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CLOSED: Arabella's Restaurant on Wharf Street shows no activity and people are speculating if the restaurant will reopen. Image: Victoria Stone-Meadows.
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Two Port Douglas restaurants have suddenly closed down, reportedly leaving a number of staff and suppliers without pay.

Arabella’s and My Italian Baby have been left empty and deserted, allegedly, with no word on the whereabouts of the owner.

A Fair Work Ombudsman spokesperson confirmed the restaurants are being looked at by the organisation but couldn’t comment on specifics.

“The Fair Work Ombudsman is conducting enquiries in relation to these businesses following requests for assistance from workers,” the spokesperson said.

“As these matters remain ongoing, it is not appropriate to comment further at this time.”


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One local parent has raised concerns with Newsport that their child, who worked at one of the closed restaurants, had been left without payment.

They claim they have had no communication from the owner as to the status of the businesses.

A social media post on the Facebook Page for Arabella’s Restaurant suggests the venue will re-open in April but commenters speculate otherwise.

 


UPDATE 31-01-19: THE ARABELLA'S FACEBOOK PAGE HAS BEEN REMOVED 

 

 


An anonymous source told Newsport the owner has cut communication with remaining staff, leaving thousands of dollars owing to workers, suppliers, and other businesses.

The former employee said there is a history of staff being paid late or not being paid at all in the last few months.

Another former staff member confirmed to Newsport they have started legal proceedings in an attempt to recover lost wages.

My Italian Baby finished trading on Sunday and Arabella’s has been closed since at least 20 January.

Newsport understands in the final weeks of trading at My Italian Baby, the staff was taking cash-only payments in an attempt to recuperate unpaid wages. 

Public information from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show that My Italian Baby was not registered for GST, despite receipts from the restaurant showing charges for GST.

The owner of the two businesses, Troy Holland, has been not responded to requests for comment from Newsport to date.


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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