Fraser Island Spanner Crabs' Jason Simpson, De Bretts Seafood's Gary Heilmann and Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson have welcomed the Queensland Government's rent relief.
Fraser Island Spanner Crabs' Jason Simpson, De Bretts Seafood's Gary Heilmann and Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson have welcomed the Queensland Government's rent relief.

Mooloolaba Spit businesses welcome rent relief

MOOLOOLABA seafood businesses have been cast a lifeline in the form of rent relief from the Queensland Government.

De Brett Seafood managing director Gary Heilmann feared the worst when he was told last Friday that the government could only offer rent deferral for his Parkyn Pde property.

But yesterday morning Mr Heilmann and Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson were told landlord Department of Transport and Main Roads would waive the business's rent for six months, reviewed monthly.

"We've suffered a massive downturn in the business with the loss of the wholesale side and in retail with no tourists around, we're substantially down for Easter," he said.

"We've already had to put 12 staff off which is sad and disappointing … and we've had to close one business (The Bridge Mooloolaba)."

"It's hard ticking over with the usual expenses, so to have the rent relief the government has granted today has been gratefully accepted."

Fraser Island Spanner Crab owner Jason Simpson said the rent relief meant he could continue to keep one to two people employed.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic Mr Simpson would export live spanner crab to Asian markets.

Production is down to just five per cent and Mr Simpson is considering other options to sell the crustacean.

Ms Simpson, LNP's spokeswoman for small business, said she was pleased concerns from local businesses hurt by COVID-19 had been heard.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the waiver was offered to a number of Sunshine Coast businesses who lease TMR land.

"(It's) to support them to survive through this difficult time," he said.