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Couple refuse to call time at Braidwood pub

Date

John Thistleton

Tony and Kerry, with their dog Maloo, outside the Royal Mail Hotel in Braidwood.

Tony and Kerry, with their dog Maloo, outside the Royal Mail Hotel in Braidwood. Photo: Rohan Thomson

A Braidwood family left homeless after the pub they were running suddenly stopped trading have refused to leave until they can find alternative accommodation.

As husband Tony and great dane Maloo stood by her side on the wrought-iron balcony of the Royal Mail Hotel, wife Kelly shouted down to the pavement below: ''It's been the crappiest 10 days of my life.''

The Sydney couple, embroiled in a dispute with the licensee, won't give their surname, but will stand their ground after being given seven days to leave.

''If you're going to write an article, tell them they cut the power off 10 days ago and it's freezing,'' Tony said.

Kelly said: ''We went to the tribunal and they said they had to put the power back on. They can get fined, but they don't care.''

Hotel owner Kevin Cooney, of Wollongong, said he was aware of a dispute between the licensee and his staff, but was vague on details of the power being cut.

He said he did not have contact details for the licensee. He said contracts were about to be exchanged that would enable the village's second pub to re-open soon.

Kelly and Tony and their daughter Lily came to Braidwood from Sydney. Tony found work in the construction industry in Canberra, Kelly began working at the pub and was asked to manage it when the previous manager walked out.

Kelly said for eight months she had managed the place without a break, except for a rushed trip to the Canberra Hospital on New Year's Eve after being cut by glass when a drunken patron smashed a window.

The Sydney couple say no one in the town will rent out a house to them, because of their great dane and having a child.

Kelly said the licensee had told them he had gone broke and added: ''I need you out in seven days.''

Kelly sent Lily to live with Kelly's mother and has remained behind in search of a new place to live.

She and Tony say rent was deducted from Kelly's salary and legally they had 90 days to stay.

''No landlord can cut off electricity. The owner and the licensee had a dispute, that was news to us,'' Kelly said.

Tony said: ''You can't just up and move in two or three days.''

Kelly said: ''I'm scared. It's spooky up here at night with 17 rooms.''

They said they were fuelling a fire inside with wood scavenged from the roadside.

On Saturday night they called Braidwood police when a group of young people gathered outside the corner pub shouting abuse at them.

''They were angry with me because I 'shut their pub','' Kelly said. ''I had to call the police.''

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