Mail service still operating

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Geoff VivianMidwest Times
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Joe and Lisa Eveson have been operating Coral Bay's licenced post office from a van parked on a verge for more than 12 months.
Camera IconJoe and Lisa Eveson have been operating Coral Bay's licenced post office from a van parked on a verge for more than 12 months. Credit: Joe Eveson/Supplied, Joe Eveson

Coral Bay’s licenced Post Office has been given a further three months to continue trading out of a mobile van, after Carnarvon Council met on Tuesday.

Shire staff had recommended a 12 month trading licence for Joe and Lisa Eveson.

However Shire president Eddie Smith said concerns were raised over sand, dust and pedestrian access at the Banksia Drive Mr Eveson was operating from.

“More suitable sites are available which will take some work to make happen,” he said.

“We dealt with Joe’s current application which gives him time to deal with future applications to go to a more suitable site.”

The Evesons had been running the service from the back of a van for more than 12 months after losing the lease on their retail premises.

“Our trade licence expires on the 14th (March) and we are operating for seven working days until we can get a new response from the Shire at the March 23 council meeting,” Mr Eveson said.

The council was due to meet at 1pm yesterday as The Midwest Times was being printed.

Mr Eveson said they had re-applied to have their trading licence renewed, but submitted their application too late for the February council meeting.

“They indicated to us they would take our application and we thought it would be a late agenda item, but someone decided it would be at the March meeting,” Mr Eveson said.

He blamed road closures, telecommunications outages because of flooding, and government offices closing due to COVID-19 for their inability to provide all the information required for the application.

“Every time you wanted to use the phone or internet they were down,” Mr Eveson said.

Carnarvon Shire President Eddie Smith said the agenda for the February council meeting closed on February 12 and the application for a new licence on a new site was not received until February 15.

“The late application was not ready for assessment by council due to staff workload, and the new site is problematic, with vehicle access issues that need to be addressed,” he said.

“The postal contractor’s time to get their application in for a ‘new licence’ was impacted by a flood and communication outages.

“This is unfortunate but with all due respect, this is an issue that could arise at any time, so it would be fair to think that applicants would apply in a timely fashion.”

Mr Eveson said providing a mail service to Coral Bay had been a challenge for Australia Post during the recent floods.

“They tried everything they could to get the mail here but there were breakdowns in the system,” Mr Eveson said.

“We were nearly 10 days without mail because of the road closures but we kept the place open because we are the point of contact with the public,” he said.

While they normally receive one or two bags of mail each day, Mr Eveson said they received 28 bags on the day the road opened from Carnarvon.

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