Empire Bay post office closes after lease expires
The Empire Bay Post Office has closed and is likely to remain that way after the previous franchisee was unable to find a new operator to assume the lease.
The Peninsula News understands that post office operator, Mr Paul Weston, had been seeking someone to take over the business since November, as his lease expired in January this year.
Mr Weston was unable to do so and closed the post office on January 16.
Long-time Empire Bay resident Mr Geoff Melville has described the closure "a great loss to the community".
Mr Melville owned the real estate agent next to the post office for a number of years and said the local post office had been a core part of Empire Bay since the suburb was founded.
"This really is such a blow to the community.
"We have so many older people here, pensioners, who were able to just walk down to the post office, but those days are over," Mr Melville said.
According to Mr Melville, residents now have to commute to the post office in Ettalong.
"This is an issue in itself as many residents who rely on Australia Post services are now forced to rely on public transport to get to Ettalong and we all know how unreliable our local bus services can be," Mr Melville said.
Mr Melville believes there was little to no chance a late offer from a potential post office leasee was likely.
He said the current landlord had plans to put the post office site as well as another vacant site located directly behind the post office up for rent with the potential to rent both spaces and convert them into one larger business.
Mr Melville said Mr Weston had given 12 years of service to the Empire Bay community.
Social media, 15 Nov 2018
Gregory Olsen, Empire Bay
Social media, 10 Jan 2019
Craig Hillman, Empire Bay
Interview, 7 Feb 2019
Geoff Melville, Empire Bay
Reporter: Dilon Luke