GROWTH STOPPED: Zee Book Exchange owner Wanita Ellis claims last week’s police raid on Nimbin has destroyed the reputation of her business and killed trade.
GROWTH STOPPED: Zee Book Exchange owner Wanita Ellis claims last week’s police raid on Nimbin has destroyed the reputation of her business and killed trade.

Growing book shop stalls after cops raid Nimbin businesses

A POLICE raid on Nimbin last week shattered the reputation and obliterated the trade of Zee Book Exchange, says owner Wanita Ellis.

After opening on January 13 with her partner Bruce Oliver, Ms Ellis said the business, launched under the Federal Government's New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) was growing week-on-week until police and drug dogs hit Nimbin on September 11.

"From the first week we made rent and we had been increasing our income regularly," Ms Ellis said.

"Since the raid, we have lost everything. In a week we have only made $70."

In the raid police targeted Perceptio gift shop, which was publicised as being a bookshop, and Oasis Cafe.

Police allege prohibited drugs were being sold from both premises.

Ms Ellis said her business reputation had been tarnished because many customers thought the "book-shop" targeted was Zee Book Exchange.

"What's happened by publicising the raid on the bookshop has made me the new drug shop," she said.

"Our reputation was paramount to us and now that reputation has been shattered."

Other businesses have also suffered, Ms Ellis has been told, after the raids crushed the community.

"They rolled into town on September 11 and literally shut down our town and treated everyone like criminals," Ms Ellis said.

The stigma of Nimbin being Australia's drug capital may have prompted the raids, but Ms Ellis said most people visited the town for its beautiful scenery and alternative lifestyle.

"People from all over the world that come to Nimbin don't have a problem with the pot because they see no violence here," she said.

Lismore police Inspector Mick Dempsey said police stood by the raids and no businesses that police had not identified as having illegal drug activity taking place were targeted.



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