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Motel owner unsure if doors will reopen

Owner of the Shute Harbour Motel Dave McInerney in front of the languishing property.
Owner of the Shute Harbour Motel Dave McInerney in front of the languishing property. Peter Carruthers

DAVE McInerney surveys the bomb site that was his life, home and passion with the same shell-shocked look he had in the wake of TC Debbie.

Dubbed the face of the March disaster after posing up among the rubble of the family-run Shute Harbour Motel, Mr McInerney said he's still putting together the pieces of a new life eight months on.

He only makes periodic visits to the once-thriving waterfront location to mitigate the damage done by looters.

"The wire fencing and warning signs do little to deter the thieves," he said.

"I'm living in Townsville now and to be honest with you, I'm glad to take a break away from the rigours of daily business," Mr McInerney, 64, said.

"At a sub-conscious level, it does knock you around - I've been here all my life and it's very close to my heart."

Mr McInerney said he's in "limbo" awaiting an insurance settlement, but isn't bothered by the delay.

"I'm just sitting back and seeing what happens."

His parents rebuilt after TC Ada totally demolished the 13-room motel in 1970 but he doubted he'll do the same.

"I would sell if the right offer came along, this has been a huge shock to the system."

Topics:  cyclone debbie tc debbie


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