Granite Island cafe Victor Harbor closing in 2015?

Granite Island cafe Victor Harbor closing in 2015?

Granite Island cafe Victor Harbor closing in 2015?

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Granite Island cafe Victor Harbor closing in 2015?

Here is some recent news suggesting that the Granite Island cafe at Victor Harbor may be closing in early 2015.

When it was built, plenty of people criticised the Granite Island cafe and Penguin Interpretive Centre as a waste of money. Fast to forward to more recent times and it appears that the cafe has been experiencing what forced many small businesses in South Australia to close in recent years: high payroll tax, high council rates, high electricity bills, high water rates, high emergency services levy (this year). There is a very high $70,000 in rent each year as well that doesn’t help. The current lease holders have to clean up rubbish and toilets on the island as well.

The lease on the cafe will not be renewed and it will therefore most likely close in early 2015. The government will run the Penguin Interpretive Centre after that.

Another contributing factor, mostly since this was all built years ago, is that tourists hassled the penguins too much. The numbers of penguins have since dwindled as a result in part because of that and in part for other reasons (see further reading below). There were 1548 penguins in 2001 on the island and in 2012 the number was just 26, so the story goes at least.

Sources:

“Penguin loss, rising costs cafe’s last straw”, p32, The Advertiser, Saturday 25th October, 2014.

Penguin numbers dwindle:cafe to close“, 5MU, date unspecified.

Further reading:

No breeding allowed for Granite Island penguins“, The Times, 26 June, 2013.

Update: 31/1/15

A council meeting was held this week and the pending closure of the cafe and penguin centre, and other parts of the island being in a state of disrepair, were discussed. The cafe will be boarded up in February by the sound of it and volunteers say that the island will become more of an eyesore.

The current lessee said that the council basically overvalued the building at $2.1 million which means council rates are around $10,000 per year. The lessee says that the property is worth a fraction of that.

More at The Times, Future of Granite Island in the air, 29th January, 2015.




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