The owner of a NSW south coast restaurant has vented his frustrations after witnessing locals act out against tourists.
Jacob Crooke, the owner of JJ’s at The Marina in Batemans Bay, addressed the “absolutely terrible” behaviour in a video posted to the restaurant’s Facebook on Monday.
He also announced JJ’s will be closed for at least two weeks as the popular destination town battles a coronavirus outbreak.
Eight new cases have been linked to the Soldiers Club, prompting the Eurobodalla Council to close some of its facilities from Monday.
Anyone who visited the Soldiers Club from July 13 to July 17 are now in mandatory quarantine for 14 days.
Mr Crooke said he closed his doors because numerous staff may have come into contact with people at the establishment.
“The situation at the moment, it hurts,” he said.
“It’s not just us, it’s every business in town. It’s the whole south coast now. But Batemans Bay, in particular, again we seem to be at the forefront of negativity.
Mr Crooke said he had seen a lot of negativity toward tourists, and in particular Canberrans.
“I want to stop thinking like that. I think it’s absolutely terrible that people think other people can’t travel around,” he said.
“It’s no one’s right to say get out of our town. It’s a disgusting way of thinking. We need to band together as a community to come up with plans, come up with positive thinking to try and get people to continue to come later on.”
The restaurant owners encouraged locals to remember Batemans Bay is “situated between Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra” and that a lot of business, his including, survive on it.
“Without them I don’t have a business, I know half a dozen friends in business in town who wouldn’t survive without tourists. Everyone has to realise that,” Mr Crooke said, adding that he may only have 11 employees left out of 43 after his second shutdown.
“Canberrans are our brothers and sisters,” he said.
“A small proportion of people think it’s their town for no-one else to come into. It’s never going to happen. We rely on tourists.”
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