Furious businesswoman unleashes on live TV in fiery row with local mayor as she accuses him of visiting her flood-ruined shop for a ‘photo opportunity’
- Coralei Mason’s Bohemian Café in Taree was severely damaged by flooding
- She was visited by Mid Coast Council Mayor while Sky News were filming
- Ms Mason accused David West of only turning up for a ‘camera opportunity’
A businesswoman who lost everything after her cafe was damaged during the once-in-a-century floods that battered parts of New South Wales has accused her local mayor of stopping by her ruined shop for a ‘camera opportunity’.
Coralei Mason’s Bohemian Café in Taree, on the state’s mid-north coast, was inundated with a torrent of water on Saturday after the area was lashed by wild weather.
Startling pictures posted to social media showed staff wading through waist-deep water as they made their way across the Pulteney Arcade to salvage what they could from the cafe.
Mid Coast Council Mayor David West visited the area on Tuesday and was interviewed by Sky News, as a devastated Ms Mason continued with her daunting clean-up task.
Bohemian Café owner Coralei Mason (left) accused Mid North Coast Mayor David West (right)of turning up to her business for a ‘camera opportunity’
Startling pictures posted to social media show wait-deep water inside Taree’s Pulteney Arcade, just outside the cafe
A fired-up Ms Mason slammed Mr West for the visit, claiming he had only turned up to show his face for the cameras and demanding he take part in clean-up efforts.
‘You’ve come down here for a camera opportunity. Where’s your gloves, mate. Seriously, where’s your gloves,’ Ms Mason told Mr West.
‘You don’t understand – I’ve lost everything here.’
When Mr West responded ‘I know you have’, Ms Mason hit back: ‘You don’t know. This was my livelihood. This was my everything. And I have lost it.
‘I’m still paying people for my business. I’ve got no income now to generate repayments,’ she said.
‘Don’t stand here and tell my you understand.’
The Bohemian Café was swamped by water after wild weather lashed the New South Wales mid-north coast on Saturday
Ms Mason has faced a daunting task to clean-up her Taree cafe after it was severely damaged by floods
Ms Mason revealed how the business was quickly swamped with water when heavy rain hit the area.
‘(The rain) poured in from the gutters. And we’re here running around trying to save our businesses,’ she said.
Mr West denied he was there simply for a camera opportunity.
A disaster declaration has been made for the Mid Coast Council area.