'We're not undercutting Ipswich': Cafe manager hits back
THE owners of a popular cafe locked in a rent battle say they have been accused of short-changing the community.
Managers of the Queen's Park Cafe are operating on a temporary lease after an agreement over rent with Ipswich City Council could not be met.
After the disagreement, the council put the management of the popular Ipswich facility back out to tender.
Council CEO Sean Madigan said the council was fixing "mistakes" of previous administrations and said the rent paid by the cafe was too low.
Breaking her silence, cafe manager Kirsten Reynolds said they were happy to pay more rent but said the council kept shifting the goalposts.
"For three years we've been asking for a rental agreement," she said.
"We don't have an issue with paying more rent.
"We have an issue with the inconsistencies the council is giving us."
This week Mr Madigan said the cafe's rent was too low and the council was searching for the best deal for the community.
He said an independent valuation found the rent for the cafe was between $80,000 and $100,000.
Ms Reynolds took umbrage to his comments.
"They're blaming us and making it look like we're underpaying the community," she said.
"Sean has never spoken to us directly.
"When we've put forward for a meeting directly with the CEO it has been declined."
She said the family proposed progressively increasing the rent for the cafe.
"The reason we're not signing these things is because of those inconsistencies," she said.
"We're just having issues with the fact they can't seem to figure it out.
"Because we're standing our ground and asking for evidence and accountability of what they're saying - because we're asking that we're perceived as being difficult."
The council has readvertised the tender to run the cafe.