COUNCIL TENDER: Lyn Shannon has lost her 26-year-long Noosa Main Beach massage business and is now unemployed at home.
COUNCIL TENDER: Lyn Shannon has lost her 26-year-long Noosa Main Beach massage business and is now unemployed at home. Alan Lander

Ex's unforwarded email destroys 26-year-old local business

IT HASN'T been Lyn Shannon's year. Not by a country mile.

A relationship break-up and a family bereavement were not enough - on top of that, the 26-year-old Noosa Main Beach massage business and all its clientele was handed lock, stock and barrel to a new owner, with no compensation for her.

The Tewantin resident, 62, claimed she missed out on re-applying for the three-year tender renewal for her massage business because, in a heart-rending twist of fate, the renewal advice went to her ex-partner's email address, and he didn't forward it.

And in the ultimate irony, if she had applied in time, she would have easily won the tender - because she would have been the only applicant.

It wasn't until a second tender, by then attracting three other contenders, that she lost her livelihood.

"You put so much into your business to make it work," she said.

"It takes any business five years before it starts to flow. I persevered, until it became a viable thing."

Ms Shannon was the only masseuse on the beach; her client base was 99.9% tourists, and she was able to employ casual staff, including her daughter, on the busier days.

"I got repeat trade; people came back year after year," she said.

"Now the new person gets it all - and I have nothing."

Ms Shannon said she felt tender issuer Noosa Council had "treated me like a number, not a person".

"I just feel I have been treated unfairly.

"I've got three years until I'm at retirement age; I have no super, I've still got rent and expenses."

Ms Shannon said when she enquired, council told her the successful applicant had a website and online booking system.

"But it's a walk-up business," she said.

Council called for permit applications for beach business permits with a closing date of May 2 this year, "however council received no applications for the beach massage activity", council's property and facilities manager, Clint Irwin said.

"Council cannot accept applications once a formal application process has closed."

Mr Irwin said council advertised a second time, in June and July.

"This time council received four applications," he said.

He said an applicants track record, how the business would be run from its location, service levels along with local economic benefits were all considered points.

"Council appreciates that it may be disappointing for a permit holder to miss out to another applicant and in this case council conveyed its appreciation to the outgoing operator for her years of service," he said.

"It is important to note that existing permit holders and new applicants have equal opportunity to put forward their case for the permits on offer."


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