Ballina Hotel did not open for business last Saturday morning. Owner Tom Money says it will be reopening in the near future.
Ballina Hotel did not open for business last Saturday morning. Owner Tom Money says it will be reopening in the near future. Doug Eaton

Ballina's pub with no cheer

ABOUT 15 people are out of a job after the Ballina Hotel mysteriously shut its doors at midnight last Friday.

Employees and patrons were shocked to find the hotel's locks being changed on Saturday morning, and speculation is rife the hotel is in financial trouble.

But that claim was yesterday rejected by the hotel's owner, ex-rugby league great Tom Mooney.

“I can't say too much about it,” he said.

“But I'll be getting in a new licensee and the hotel will definitely reopen in the near future.

“It's the only place in Ballina that can have decent live music.”

But former employees are furious, saying they were given no warning about the hotel's imminent closure.

“We had no idea,” said one man, who did not want to be named.

“I came in to go to work on Saturday and the locks were being changed.

“Now I don't have a job. I'm owed thousands of dollars and I've got two kids to support.

“No one will tell us what's going on and we don't know if we're going to get our jobs back.

“We were told we'd get this week's pay, but I'm not real confident that will happen.”

Another employee said he was given his last 10 pay slips and a separation certificate on Monday.

“It came as a complete surprise,” he said.



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