TEN Eyewitness News: the new tech launching entrepreneurs into the digital age

Published in TEN Eyewitness News on July 20, 2017

Online: https://tenplay.com.au/news/national/july-2017/the-new-tech-lauching-entrepreneurs-into-the-digital-age

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Forget the old bricks-and-mortar store front. If a business isn’t online, then it may as well not exist.

That’s the future according to architect and photographer Demas Rusli, one of tens of thousands of tech-savvy entrepreneurs making a name for themselves on social media.

“Everyone is on their phones these days. You see on the bus and public transport, on the train, everyone is on their phone and everyone is scrolling on Instagram,” he said.

“It’s a pretty big thing, you can’t really say no to it.”

Rusli is a social media ‘influencer’: he’s racked up a following of over 70,000 people on Instagram, and uses the platform to get lucrative sponsorships from all sorts of brands – from footwear giants Nike and New Balance, to car manufacturers like Lexus.

“It’s like a new way to market, a new way to advertise,” he said.

“If I’m shooting a sneaker campaign for Nike or something, I don’t try to put the sneaker in front of me. I try to put it in a scene and have a story behind it, and make it more genuine to my content and what I usually do anyway.

“Over time, I’ve realised the importance of it, because a lot of people look up to me.”

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One of Rusli’s Instagram posts, using his brand of photography to promote New Balance shoes. Image: Instagram

Hayden Cox, entrepreneur and founder of Haydenshapes Surfboards, still has love for the traditional shop window.

He has stores in LA as well as New South Wales, but used the web to take his business up a notch. He now has nearly 80,000 followers on Instagram.

“I started making and designing surfboards when I was 15-years-old, and I built and coded my first website when I was 16, so I’ve always engaged through the Internet with building my brand and my business over the last 20 years,” he said.

“There’s some people who may not have seen one of my boards down at the local beach, and they saw an Instagram post, and they want to walk into your local retailer or one of our stores and touch and feel and pick up the product.”

Now, it seems that technology is catching up to the new breed of business men and women – always on the move, with a need to constantly be online.

Companies are ditching bulky laptops in favour of ‘two in one’ portable tech – that is, small, lightweight, often keyboardless computers that have all the functioning capability of your desktop.

Samsung have just launched the ‘Galaxy Book’ and ‘Galaxy Tab S3’ in line with this concept.

The back of the tablet sports a new sleek, sophisticated look made from reinforced glass.

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The new Galaxy Tab S3 has HDR video quality.

Running on Android with 4G capability, Microsoft products, like Word and Excel, are pre-installed on the device, so you can pretty much knock-up any document that you would at home.

And while some might miss the iPad’s Apple store, the Samsung has it beat with an SD card slot – very useful for camera-wielding influencers.

As for the Galaxy Book, it’s pretty similar to the tablet in design, but it comes in two different sizes, 10.6 inch and 12 inch.

Users have the option of using a keyboard with both devices, but if you were to use the Galaxy Book screen alone, tablet-style, you’d have a fully-functioning advanced computer that’s extremely lightweight and portable.

The Windows 10 software is what makes that possible – creative-types can download full version software, like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, without having to settle for mobile versions that skimp on the full capabilities.

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The 10.6 inch Galaxy Book, which is extremely thin and lightweight.

Both the Galaxy Book and Galaxy Tab S3 also support High Dynamic Range video content, which means top-notch colour and image quality.

“I actually had a really good experience with it, everything ran smoothly. Lightroom and Photoshop are the two programs I use the most, and they work completely fine, like they would when I’m on my laptop at home,” said Mr Rusli.

“The mobility of it is what’s important.”

There’s also a big hurrah about the S Pen that comes with both devices. It writes like a real pen, makes second-grade handwriting look close to calligraphic, and classic pencil company Stedler have even chipped in with a nostalgic rendition that’s compatible with the Samsung screens.

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The 12 inch Galaxy Book comes with the newly refined-tip S Pen. 

But, is it good enough to throw out your laptop?

“Yeah, probably, I think definitely. I’ve had a really positive experience with it,” said Mr Rusli.

As more big tech companies like Samsung follow suit in this new trend, it seems that online business will be just on its heels.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census, businesses’ social media engagement had increased by 4.2 per cent between 2015 and 2016.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 and Galaxy Book are available in store from July 28. Prices start at $949 for the tablet and $1,099 for the Galaxy Book.

The Sydney Morning Herald: Ten ways to make the most of the last free Opal weekend

Published in The Sydney Morning Herald on September 1, 2016

Online: smh.com.au/…/ten-ways-to-make-the-most-of-the-last-free-opal-card-weekend-20160704-gpy9gs

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This weekend is the last chance for Opal card users to take advantage of free trips.

For 19-year-old student Emma Lucas, it means from next week she might not be so quick to tap on and tap off.

From Monday, cardholders who have reached the eight paid trips in one week will have to pay half-fare for Friday and the weekend instead of it being free.

Ms Lucas said that she’ll be less likely to use public transport once free Opal trips stop.

“If I want to do something on the weekend like go to Manly, I normally wouldn’t because of the ferry costs, but if I’ve got free trips I’m encouraged to do those things,” she said.

“I’m pretty aware of my carbon footprint, so the last thing I want to do is use my car, but cancelling free Opal trips means that I will use my car more or not go out as much. It takes away the encouragement to use public transport.”

A uni student with a part-time job two days a week, Miss Lucas reaches the eight trips quota just getting to class.

She said that once free trips stop, she’ll be too worried about how much she’s spending to take extra trips.

“I’ve got auto top up as well, so it takes the money straight out of my account. I won’t want to use my Opal as much because I want to save money on it,” she said.

“It’s going to be a much bigger thing to worry about on the minds of people who don’t have a car or a full time job.”

This weekend is the opportune time for Opal travellers to get out of town and explore outer-Sydney for free.

Boundaries of Opal travel extend as far South as Bomaderry, as far west as Bathurst, and as far north as Dungog, so cardholders could in theory travel through most of NSW without paying a cent.

These are our top 10 destinations for cardholders to visit for free this weekend, according to the locals.

1. The Blue Mountains (two hours from Central Station)

The Blue Mountains is one of Opal card’s top four most-frequented destinations for weekend travel. Ramon Rathore, owner of UpBeet Juice and Espresso, attributed this to the uniqueness and beauty of the place.

“We have some of the most pristine wilderness within region view of pretty much everywhere in the mountains,” he said. “It’s unique on every front – spiritually, visually, geographically, everything.”

The train journey is especially stunning when there’s snow on the mountains. Visitors can follow one of the many walking tracks to see breathtaking views of the Three Sisters, or stroll through the town of Katoomba – a man-made oddity in the centre of bush. Mr Rathore is afraid that Opal travellers who frequent his cafe will stop coming once they no longer have free trips.

“Anything that is going to effect the efficiency of tourism up here does have a direct effect on our business,” he said.

2. Manly Beach and North Head (approx 45 min from Central)  

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Catch the ferry over to Manly from Circular Quay. The seabreeze is always pleasant and passengers get a great view of North Head’s sandstone headlands. Once visitors arrive at Manly Beach, they can amble up to the headlands on a number of walking tracks. The paved Fairfax walk is ideal for taking along the kids. It starts at the end of North Head Scenic Drive and loops around the top of North Head, passing Q Station – a quarantine station active in 1833 – and other historical sites. All the sites are marked by information boards that give insight into North Head’s past.

Deb Randell, a tour guide at Q Station which is free for the public to enter, said that North Head’s history, scenery and close proximity to Sydney set it a part from other places.

“Q Station’s third graveyard is up at North Head. It’s the only graveyard out of our three that still has all its headstones, so it’s very much intact,” she said.

“The whole place just comes alive once you start to hear all the fascinating stories that have gone on here and some of the characters that have passed through over time.”

3. Terrigal, The Central Coast (approx. 2 hr from Central)

Take a trip on the Central Coast train line and view the Hawkesbury River, bobbing boats, oyster farms, ocean and bush. Hop on a bus from Gosford Station to Terrigal, where you can walk from the end of Terrigal Lagoon, along the beachfront, and up to the Skillion lookout across from Terrigal Haven.

Mardi Love, a patrolling member of Terrigal Surf Club for 14 years, said that Terrigal is always a great destination for visitors, regardless of the weather.

“Of course the beach is the best thing about Terrigal, but there’s also a number of coastal walks that are gaining in popularity,” said Ms Love.

“You can always find a nice little place to dunk in the water or play on the beach. One of the other great attractions is the food and cafe culture.”

4. Kiama and The Blowhole (approx. 2 hr and 15 min from Central)

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Kiama may seem like a bit of a trek to most Sydneysiders, but Ray Thorburn, 81, has lived in the area since 1975 and said it’s well worth the trip.

“I would suggest that it is better than Sydney,” said Mr Thorburn.

“Aesthetically, it’s so far away from Sydney that it isn’t funny, but it’s close enough to the smoke to really go up there whenever you need to. It’s the best of all worlds, I suppose you could say.”

Visitors can get off the train at Kiama Station and walk the 10 to 15 minutes up to the famed Blowhole, which is the largest in the world, and the Kiama lighthouse, which was established in 1887. Take along some hand reels and fish off the harbour.

5. Thirroul (approx. 1 hr and 15 min from Central)

If passengers are lucky, they’ll not only have the ocean to their left on the train ride to Thirroul, but mist rolling down the hills on their right. The seaside suburb of Wollongong features a one kilometre long beach that faces east and picks up swell from most directions, so it’s a good surf spot. Before heading to Thirroul Station, visitors can get off at nearby Scarborough and wander across to the Scarborough Hotel, then head upstairs to take in the stunning views of the ocean below.

Ellen Austin manages the Scarborough Hotel.

“We’ve got such a beautiful view here. There’s nothing else like it,” she said.

“It’s a really relaxed area and everyone’s really nice. I don’t think anywhere else comes close to here.”

Ms Austin recommends people walk the 10 minutes to Sea Cliff Bridge, the 665 metre highlight of Grand Pacific Drive. Other coastal towns, Austinmer and Coledale, are dotted along the road and are within a couple of minutes train or bus trip.

6. Windsor (approx 1 hr from Central)

Windsor is a town in Sydney’s west known for its heritage and historical value. Founded in 1810, Windsor still has its traditional country charm that attracts people away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Vicki Burns is a supervisor at Australia’s oldest pub, the Macquarie Arms Hotel, which was built in Windsor in 1815.

“There’s a lot of old buildings that are still standing. We’ve got a couple of old churches, and really old graveyards dating back hundreds of years,” she said.

“People like it because it’s a little country town. We have markets through the mall with all local produce on Sundays.”

Visitors can get off at Windsor Station, which is on the main street of the town – George Street – and amble past sites that seem frozen in time, including St Matthew’s Anglican Church (built in 1817) and Windsor Court House (built in 1822).

7. Richmond (approx. 1 hr and 15 min from Central)

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Passengers enjoy the bucolic scenes from the train window as Richmond nears; farm animals are a welcome site outside the norm of urban life. Get off at Richmond Station and wander across to the old-style oval over the road. Buy a quarter chicken and fresh salad from a store opposite the oval and grab a coffee from the same strip on the way back.

Graham Smith, 78, was born and bred in Richmond and has lived there his whole life. Mr Smith said he wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“I wouldn’t like to live anywhere else. I’m very happy living in the area,” he said.

“If you lived in the city, I think Richmond is a lovely place to visit.”

Mr Smith named historic buildings, cafes, antique stores and the Royal Australian Air Force Base – where you can watch the planes take off and land – as main attractions.

8. The Hawkesbury River, Brooklyn (approx 1 hr from Central)

The Hawkesbury River offers some of the most pristine views in Sydney, and with the station right in the centre of town, the one hour train trip is definitely the best way to get there.

Catherine Pigneguy owns the local Riverboat Postman, which does day trips during the week and weekend cruises, and also runs the Teahouse at Brooklyn.

“It’s such a tiny little village surrounded by national park, so it feels like a town on its own but it’s still a part of Sydney,” said Ms Pigneguy.

“The cafes here are brilliant and the fish and chips are pretty much straight out of the river. It makes the perfect day trip that’s absolutely totally different from what you’ll see anywhere else.”

Like Mr Rathore from the Blue Mountains, Ms Pigneguy is concerned about what the cancellation of free Opal trips will mean for the town and business.

“The train relieves parking issues in small towns like ours, so if they reduce the incentive to use the train, people will just drive and make parking availability worse.”

9. Newcastle and Merewether (approx 3 hr from Central)

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If you go from one end of Newcastle to the other, you’ll come across a whole range of scenes; from the urban jungle of the city, to the oddly industrial waterfront, to the nostalgic fronts of picket-fenced cottages, to the long stretches of beach. Visitors can get off the train at Hamilton, hop on a bus into town and peak into the trendy pigeon hole cafes, or head down to Merewether Beach.

Rebeccah Warwood, sales and events manager at Merewether Surfhouse, said that visitors love the place because it offers city, surf and suburbia.

“It’s a different, relaxed vibe out here compared to the CBD of Newcastle. It’s a good middle ground between all the buzzing areas,” she said.

“We see dolphins and whales frequently, on most mornings, which is beautiful.”

Ms Warwood said that Newcastle is an ideal spot for Sydneysiders to take a break and relax over the weekend.

10. Moss Vale (approx 1 hr and 45 min from Central)

Sandra Menteith, 65, helps run the local Farmers Market in Moss Vale. She said that her favourite thing about living in a rural town is the country way of life, but new, ‘younger’ business is making the area a lot more interesting.

“In Moss Vale, you can see a lot more traditional things and the way of life living in a regional area, that are perhaps lost when a place gets too developed,” said Ms Menteith.

“There’s a lot of new business and activities emerging in the area – especially ones around food. It’s appropriate, because Moss Vale was traditionally the agricultural centre of the Southern Highlands.”

Ms Menteith said that if people from Sydney tasted Moss Vale’s local produce, they wouldn’t settle for anything less again.

The Sun-Herald: 2016 Census: Bungy jump master tops the list of the jobs fewest people do

Published in The Sun-Herald on August 7, 2016

Online: smh.com.au/…/2016-census-bungy-jump-master-tops-the-list-of-the-jobs-fewest-people-do-20160623-gpq2td

Boris Joy is a bungy jump master – a rare find in Australia, with only three recorded in the 2011 census.

The profession tops the list of the 10 least-reported jobs nationwide last time ahead of this year’s census, on Tuesday.

After 10 years in the business, Mr Joy thinks he has one of the best jobs in the country.

“I had been in banking for eight years and decided to do something I’d never imagined I would do,” he said. “I just answered a job for a receptionist, funnily enough, and there you go.”

Being a jump master means that Mr Joy controls the bungy jump deck and is responsible for equipment and the safety of jumpers who visit AJ Hackett in Cairns, Queensland.

He loves being able to engage with people and see how they handle stressful situations.

Mr Joy says there are so few bungy jump masters in Australia because there are only two companies that offer the activity.

“People are always surprised to hear that we’re one of the only ones,” he said. “It’s a difficult business to start up without specialised knowledge of the industry.

“It’s basically as per a need basis. If we need more, then more will get trained up.”

Mr Joy thinks that people may be deterred by the dense Bungy Jumping Code of Practice and complicated insurance process for businesses.

This may explain the remainder of the top 10 most unpopular jobs in Australia – five are in the adventure sports industry.

2. Hunting Guide – four people

This job requires employees to be properly licensed hunters. Hunting licences are difficult to obtain, and guides are mostly required to work out of fully-licensed outfitters who are responsible for staff and insurances. Potential business interests are deterred by complicated processes and hunters often work independently without the assistance of a guide.

3. Mountain or Glacier Guide – 16 people

These guides have the task of leading groups or individuals through mountain ranges and glaciers, where they often partake in high-risk activities such as fishing and hunting, climbing and whitewater rafting. They are responsible for equipment and the safety of participants.

4. Trekking Guide – 24 people

Their work requires them to lead groups or individuals over long walking distances, often through hazardous terrain. Trekking guides must assess the risks involved in a trek and ensure the safety of patrons.

5. Whitewater Rafting Guide – 28 people

Guides, usually employed by licensed outfitters, are responsible for ensuring the safety of participants during this hazardous activity. The adventure sport also relies on a specific natural environment to work; rapids that are particularly dangerous may pose too many risks to customers.

6. Plastic Compounding and Reclamation Machine Operator – 51 people

Operators control mixing and grinding machines to prepare powders and liquids used to make plastics. They are also responsible for the recycling of materials. Machine operators are now largely redundant as most Australian manufacturing is done by machinery.

7. Deer Farmer – 56 people

Deer farms serve as hunting attractions or for the production of livestock. There is relatively little demand in Australia for venison in comparison to other meats such as lamb, beef and chicken. Hunting is generally done on larger grounds, and deer farms only provide limited game.

8. Electrician (special class) – 62 people

Special class electricians service and repair intricate or complex circuitry. They are typically called upon when tasks exceed the capabilities of general electricians.

9. Clinical Haematologist – 72 people 

Haematologists are concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders. As this is a specialist field, demand for these practitioners is less than general medical personnel.

10. Paediatric Surgeon – 76 people

These surgeons deal with fetuses, infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. Although general surgeons are equipped to operate on most younger patients, there are some cases where paediatric surgery is ideal or necessary.

The Sydney Morning Herald Weekend: Jessica Watson: the girl who conquered the world going into uncharted territory

Published in The Sydney Morning Herald Weekend on July 23, 2016

Online: http://www.smh.com.au/sport/jessica-watson-girl-who-conquered-the-world-going-into-uncharted-territory-20160722-gqbpo2.html

Jessica Watson has a start-up yachting business.

Jessica Watson was just 16 when she became the youngest person ever to sail solo and unassisted around the world and now, at 23, she has her sights set on conquering what she expects to be an even greater challenge than her legendary voyage.

When the Queenslander sailed back into Sydney Harbour in May of 2010, she was on the high of her life.

“Of course I was very young. A 16-year-old is a 16-year-old, but the big thing was that there were so many years of preparation. I was ready when I left,” she said.

“I’d come off the boat and I’d spent years with absolutely all my focus on making this voyage happen, so there was a huge amount of adrenaline for quite a few years.”

When Watson returned from her 210-day journey, which took her over 23,000 nautical miles, she was one of the most recognised faces in Australia.

She went on an international book tour for her novel True Spirit, skippered the youngest crew ever to compete in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, was awarded Young Australian of the Year in 2011, and was honoured with an OAM in 2012.

Now, Watson is focusing on another big challenge.

“It’s funny, people want me to say ‘I’m sailing around the world backwards’ or to the moon this time, but the crazy thing is for me that that would almost be the easy thing to do,” she said.

“I wanted to put myself completely out of my comfort zone, which is still within the marine industry and what I love, and take on a completely different challenge.”

Deckee.com is a venture that Watson said got her attention from the start, and as the communications manager, she is working hard to get it off the ground.

“It’s something that immediately struck a chord because as a sailor, as a boatie who is out on the water often, I could immediately see that there’s a need for this,” she said.

Watson described Deckee.com as, essentially, a marine TripAdvisor.

“Boaties” can review marine businesses, vessels, locations, products and services, or view others’ reviews on the site.

“Boating has this incredible word-of-mouth culture, they love sharing their recommendations and opinions and helping each other out,” she said.

“The marine industry still has these gorgeous guides, big thick guides of areas, but we want to give boaties that platform and community online.”

The first version of Deckee was actually launched over a year ago and it became an award-winning site, but Watson said the new site allows for greater possibilities.

“We’ve completely started fresh which is a pretty brave thing to do when we had an award-winning website,” she said, “but it didn’t enable us to scale up in the way that we want to.This new technology is going to give us this incredible ability to map out the boating industry and answer people’s questions in a sort of Google-like fashion.”

Watson is also doing her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) on the weekends between working full-time for Deckee.

“It’s a challenge because obviously there’s so much going on with Deckee at the moment,” she said.

“Studying is a bit odd for a girl who sailed around the world, but I managed to finish school and do my degree,”

Watson is expected to make an appearance at this year’s Sydney International Boat Show, which starts on Thursday, July 28.

The boat show is always a favourite with Australia’s marine community, and Watson said she’s keen to keep up the tradition.

“The show is something I’ve been involved in for years, right back before I sailed around the world,” she said.

“They were really supportive and I have really fond memories, so it’s exciting to be going back this year with a new project.”

City Hub: Green with envy: city boosts its eco credentials

Published in City Hub on July 30, 2015

Online: http://www.altmedia.net.au/green-with-envy-city-boosts-its-eco-credentials/108120

Surry Hill’s unique Reader’s Digest Building will become ‘greener’ with the City of Sydney’s help, but some argue the City should not take the credit.

The Surry Hills building was approved for an Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA), which involves a loan through City of Sydney for environmentally efficient improvements.

The building, owned by company Intrasia Oxley (DRE) Pty Ltd, will witness a $1.2 million upgrade, said to decrease base energy usage by around sixty per cent.

However, City of Sydney Liberal Councillor Edward Mandla said he believes the building was already on track to environmental sustainability, without the council’s help.

“The City of Sydney has utterly failed in its green initiatives,” he said.

He said that many businesses were looking to go ‘greener’, without the help of “bumbling bureaucrats”.

“What we know is that buildings have been voluntarily becoming ‘greener’ for years… not once did someone say ‘I did it because council told me how or why’.”

Council’s statistics favour Clr Mandla’s comments, with only six EUAs signed in Sydney so far.

However, a council spokesperson told City Hub that several building owners are currently investigating the agreement as a possible option.

Executive director of Intrasia Oxley, Braith Williams, said the developments will “increase the building’s energy efficiency, reduce its carbon footprint and provide long term savings for both the tenants and owners”.

The City of Sydney promotes EUAs as an option for owners to improve properties with borrowed funds, with the assurance that they can pay back the finance.

“They are better than traditional debt or cash as it is the energy savings themselves that are used to pay back the finance used to upgrade the building’s energy systems,” said a council spokesperson.

Mr Williams said that the application process for Intrasia Oxley took 14 months, and this could be the reason that so few Sydney businesses are pursuing the agreement.

City Hub: Lockout laws liquidate La Cita

Published in City Hub on July 9, 2015

Online: http://www.altmedia.net.au/lockout-laws-force-spanish-out-of-sydney/107298

Sydney's Darling Harbour Source: Wikicommons

The owners of Darling Harbour’s renowned La Cita restaurant have blamed the NSW lockout laws for the club’s recent closure.

The 1.30am lockouts and 3am ‘last drinks’ imposed within the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct are blamed for La Cita’s “radical drop in business turnover”.

On June 25, La Cita Latin Restaurant, Bar and Club filed for liquidation under the supervision of Anthony Warner from CRS Insolvency Services.

While La Cita did not respond to requests for comment, Mr Warner had informed City Hub that the owners were blaming the new restrictions for their closure.

In response to customer confusion, La Cita said on their Facebook page that “our business has been put on hold until further notice due to a very delicate internal issue that is out of our hands.”

According to CRS, the business had accumulated approximately $580,000 in debt at the point of filing for liquidation.

Lockout laws were initially enforced in February 2014 by the NSW Government to combat alcohol and drug fuelled violence.

Since then, many establishments have identified the introduction of the regulations as the cause of their financial struggles and, ultimately, the downfall of their businesses.

Fellow Darling Harbour establishment, the Watershed Hotel, is not regulated under the lockout laws, but manager Zachary O’Neill said he could see the negative impact of the laws.

He told City Hub that the restrictions were clearly impacting on economic turnover.

“Obviously that’s plain as day. You see businesses go bankrupt, the actions speak for themselves” he said.

Now La Cita is facing criticism from customers, who claim that they were not notified about the establishment’s closure prior to their pre-booked functions and events.

One Facebook user, Myriam Troncoso, expressed outrage on the establishment’s Facebook page.

“I had a [sic] event booked… NO ONE contacted me prior to tell me that La Cita was closed… I will be lodging a complaint with fair trading.”

Mr Warner, the appointed liquidator from CRS, said his current attempts to secure a sale of the La Cita business name were “unlikely” to succeed.