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10 February 2011

Flood Update: Commonwealth Bank Goodna is open for business

YOU STILL can't get a sandwich or groceries in Goodna's devastated St Ives Shopping Centre, but slowly the closed signs are flipping over and showing open.

Commonwealth Bank manager Rodney Howlett-Jones
is happy to welcome customers back to his branch at
St Ives shopping centre Goodna.

YOU STILL can't get a sandwich or groceries in Goodna's devastated St Ives Shopping Centre, but slowly the closed signs are flipping over and showing open.

An eight-metre rising wall of water ruined the shopping centre's 30-plus businesses four weeks ago as marauding bull sharks swam through its car park and looters robbed the Beer Wine and Spirits store.

Only now is the centre slowly returning to normal.

The Commonwealth Bank branch is now open, as are the butchers and bakery on the outside of the shopping centre, while Thrifty Hardware and Fadez Barbershop have been open for two weeks inside the site.

For many of the other businesses it will be two to three months before they serve customers, if they actually decide to stay on.

Commonwealth Bank branch manager Rodney Howlett-Jones said while his business was open it was far from service as normal.

"You can't even get a cold can of drink here," Mr Howlett-Jones said.

"There's no foot traffic and you don't know if it will return.

"I have asked shop owners individually what they're doing and most seem to be staying put.

"I tried to ask the centre manager what's going on, but he's not even here.

"Hopefully everyone comes back. We have taken all our furniture from other branches and still need a lot of trade work to finish the place, but at least we can bring the staff back and provide basic services

"We are cashing a lot of flood-relief checks and providing personal loans at the moment."

Several shopkeepers told The Queensland Times the community spirit of Goodna would keep them at the centre.

Fadez Barbershop are determined not to close despite the fact their store is being gutted.

They have set up a makeshift salon outside their store while tradesmen rebuild.

"I don't know when it will be fixed, but we're staying no matter what," barber Jordan Aumua said.

www.qt.com.au

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