Tumbulgum store to reopen
A DISPUTE over where locals in the small riverside community of Tumbulgum ought to be able to buy their bread and papers and collect mail has taken a new twist.
The owner of the historic Ferryside Store and Post Office - currently the shop with no stock and post office with no mail - has vowed to re-open.
Joe Hoctor yesterday made the promise while overseeing a revamp of the store which originally opened opposite the present boat ramp in 1938.
Further down Riverside Street, three doors past the pub, the previous shopkeeper and postmaster was running his new store, newsagency and post office in a former craft gallery and coffee shop.
Scott Schieb, with wife Karen, moved out of the traditional store last month after a disagreement with Mr Hoctor, their landlord.
But they now face a battle with Tweed Shire Council which on Wednesday refused to approve the new location.
The council has given Mr and Mrs Schieb seven days to stop using the premises as a store and post office. Mr Schieb has been seeking advice on his options.
Mr Hoctor, who bought the store as an investment for retirement, said it would re-open within a fortnight following a substantial refit he felt was overdue.
"We have several people who want to move in. We may open on a limited basis ourselves," he added.
He said he wanted to make it clear he had not forced up the rent.
"The rent was to be decided by an independent valuer," he said.