The Spirit of Hervey Bay in front of Harvey’s Bar and Bistro at Urangan.
The Spirit of Hervey Bay in front of Harvey’s Bar and Bistro at Urangan. Alistair Brightman

Whale boat still going nowhere after $100,000 court case

IT WAS a dispute that cost the owners of a Hervey Bay whale watching boat more than $100,000.

After the Spirit of Hervey Bay was moored outside The Deck restaurant, the proprietors of the restaurant voiced their displeasure to the landlords, who also owned the boat, complaining that it was blocking their views.

As a result of falling patron numbers and fewer functions, the restaurant went under.

The proprietors sued their landlord and won.

Not only were they awarded $100,000, rent payments of more than $57,000 owed to the landlords were also struck out.

More than one year on, the boat is still moored outside the restaurant.

JT Michaels is now operating the business, which has been renamed Harvey's Bar and Bistro.

He says the boat doesn't bother him at all and probably even saved him money during a violent storm earlier this year.

The boat protected the outside deck area from damage, Mr Michaels said.

He said as far as he was concerned, the boat parked outside his restaurant was a non-issue.

"We've got no drama with it."

He said there was still enough of a view available for customers to enjoy it and said boats were a part of the view at any marina.

The restaurant now had a greater focus on supplying fresh Hervey Bay seafood and attracting locals instead of depending on tourists for business, he said.

The owners of the Spirit of Hervey Bay did not wish to comment.

Legal battle

  • The owners of The Deck restaurant were awarded a total of $101,777.30 after a court found their views were blocked by whale watching boat the Spirit of Hervey Bay
  • The owners claimed customer numbers and function bookings were down since the boat had been placed in front of the restaurant
  • Rent payments of $57,073.19 owed to the landlords, who also own the Spirit of Hervey Bay, were also struck out


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