Dawson Street Motel in Lismore after the flood.
Dawson Street Motel in Lismore after the flood. Marc Stapelberg

Flood damaged Lismore motel won't reopen for months: owner

LISMORE's popular Dawson Motor Inn will remain closed for months due to extensive flood damage which has resulted in many of the building's fixtures and contents sent to the tip.

Co-owner of the business, Dianne Nisner, said the business had barely begun the process of rebuilding following the March 31 flood because of two outstanding insurance claims.

MORE: What's open, what's not: Businesses still shut after floods

One is for the building, which has a separate landlord, and the other is for its fittings and contents, which were wiped out.

"The building does have to be reinstated before I can do any interior work," Ms Nisner said.

"All the glass has to be replaced, all the gyprock walls have to be replaced.

"All of the interior tiling of the entrance ways and bathrooms has to be redone."

"The rooms are absolutely shelved at the moment. There's nothing left in the rooms.

"It's been over a month now just waiting for the (insurance) reports to be done.

"One we get started I reckon it's going to take five months.

"I've got nothing left in the office, I lost everything. The SES came through and helped us strip out the cabinet work. All the doors even walked. They wouldn't close properly.

As a result Ms Nisner has had to lay off all but one of her staff, whose wages are covered under the insurance policy.

She has had to put the business's loan payments on hold, which only just adds to the debt levels.

In total she had eight staff, seven who are now looking for work. She plans to remploy them once the motel opens again.

Of all the motels in Lismore, the Dawson was the worst affected, because every room is on the ground floor.

Ms Nisner said she has "mixed feelings" on the disaster.

"It's going to take a while to rebuild the area. It's going to take a couple of years," she said.



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