Hotels bought for redevelopment
A multi-million dollar motel and construction combine has bought Hotel Macquarie and the Royal Hotel-Motel situated adjacent to each other on nearly three acres of land in Horton Street, Port Macquarie.
The new owners intend to re-develop the site in the medium term future as a massive motel, bottle shop, residential accommodation, shopping and business complex.
The company that finalised the deal is Mainline Corporation.
According to Mr Tom Abberton, the new manager of the two- hotels, Port Macquarie can now look forward to having a really dynamic tourist attraction in what is the heart of the town.
At present, the two hotels have five operating bars, a bottle shop, accommodation for 65 guests and a swimming pool.
Construction Plans for the full development of the site are expected to be completed in the not too distant future to enable the new owners to commence construction through a subsidiary.
Negotiations for the sale of the hotels are reported to have taken some months to finalise.
The world is your oyster when you are an oyster farmer in Port Macquarie - provided you have a healthy bank balance, lots of stamina to take rugged weather and are content to feed rich men's tables for a third of the price.
This one sentence just about sums up the Hastings District oyster industry which today is netting about $145,000 a year for the 27 professionals in the field and the many part-time and 'weekend pickers' who work on the periphery.
Anyone wishing to get into the shellfish game must be prepared to buy river-bottom land for anything up to $1500 an acre [0.405 hectares], be content with a disastrous flood or two every 10 years or so and have a very definite love for tramping around in mud up to the knees in all temperatures.
Most people who have visited Port Macquarie's spreading oyster farms on the Hastings River and nearby creeks will undoubtedly agree that this is the district's most rugged industry.
But, if done well, it can also provide its few ardent followers with a good living in nature's riverside garden.
Oystermen like Clem Marks, secretary of the Hastings River Oyster Farmers' Association spend their days working with their shellfish in earshot of cormorants, black swans and pelicans.
Theirs is a peaceful hard life with a crop that takes three years to mature before it can be reaped for bagging and sending to restaurants throughout Australia.
According to Mr Marks, the Hastings District is the fourth largest oyster growing area in the country.
One of the problems at present facing oyster farmers is that Hastings Shire Council are now making them pay rates on their farms - even though they can never see the land on which they farm.
Lions rag collection
Over two tons of saleable rag have been dispatched to Sydney as a result of the recent door to door collection made by the Lions of Port Macquarie.
The effort was only made possible by the enthusiastic support of the residents of the municipality who left their surplus rag and old clothing out for collection by club members.