O'Duinns Irish Pub has remained empty since Cyclone Debbie and with the council hoping to gain access and assess the building. Picture: Laura Thomas
O'Duinns Irish Pub has remained empty since Cyclone Debbie and with the council hoping to gain access and assess the building. Picture: Laura Thomas

PLEA FOR PUB: ‘Enough is enough, pull it down’

A QUESTION mark is hanging over the future of an abandoned Irish pub in Proserpine with a business owner saying "enough is enough" and calling for the "eyesore" to be torn down.

O'Duinns Irish Pub on Main St in Proserpine was severely damaged during Cyclone Debbie and hasn't been open since.

The company that owned the pub went into liquidation and the building was handed over to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

However, safety concerns sparked action from the council that is in the process of gaining access to the building.

Everything Office and More owner Tracey Cameron said the building was "revolting" and called for it to be demolished.

"It is an eyesore and it's dangerous," she said.

"You've got this beautiful main street upgrade that will be finished in a few weeks' time and the rest of the street will look lovely and (the pub) will be an eyesore.

"Enough is enough, pull it down."

Whitsunday Regional Council have put scaffolding up underneath the veranda in a bid to secure the building.
Whitsunday Regional Council have put scaffolding up underneath the veranda in a bid to secure the building.

Everything Office and More sits directly opposite the abandoned building and Ms Cameron said a large amount of debris from the building narrowly missed her shop during Cyclone Debbie.

With scaffolding covering the facade, Ms Cameron was concerned the building could be even more of a hazard as the next cyclone season approaches.

Whitsunday Regional Council's director of development services Neil McGaffin said the council had been worried about the pub for "some time" and put scaffolding up underneath the veranda in a bid to secure the building.

When council workers can gain access, they will assess it for damage before a plan for the future of the building is made.

"It's likely to depend on the standard of the internal and what we find from a structural perspective," Mr McGaffin said.

"If the bones are good, then hopefully ASIC will think about what they want to do.

"We've had some inquiries from some businesses operating in Proserpine.

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"Some of them would be compatible with this building but until we get in and get a structural engineer in there to say it's all fine or 'Quick, let's get out, it's going to fall over', it will depend on where we go from there."

If the building is deemed unsafe it may be demolished, however Mr McGaffin said it was yet to be confirmed who would pay for the demolition.

"Our preference in the short term would be to secure the building so that if a storm hits, it's not going to fall apart," he said.

"Hopefully when we get in, there will be a couple of things to do and holes to patch and that will hold the building secure until the prospective owner or user comes along and invests some time in renovating it."

Before Cyclone Debbie, O'Duinns was a bustling pub with an outdoor beer garden, gaming lounge, TAB, poker machines and pool tables.

It was also the home of Palace Backpackers, also known as Main St Backpackers.


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