We were very sympathetic to the terrible losses people had suffered during the Townsville floods. We gave financial help where we could, knowing it couldn’t possibly do much. We were in our last week of work and had arranged a night out with colleagues. We got a knock on our door from one of the hotel managers. He explained that to help with the clean up effort, we would need to temporarily move out so that the hotel could accommodate recovery workers who were being drafted in from all over the state and beyond. They said they would help us find another hotel and that we could move back in in 3 days time. We found it a bit unusual as we had paid up front for our entire stay but understood this event was unpresidented so agreed to stay at the other hotel they had suggested, the Madison Plaza. They agreed to keep our things in storage until we returned. The Robert Towns was like a little apartment but the Madison Plaza was a ‘proper’ hotel. We actually wished we could have stayed at the Madison longer as it was a lot nicer. On the Monday after work as arranged, we went back the the Robert Towns to check back into our room only to be told we couldn’t check back in as our room had been ‘given’ to recovery workers. We were devastated and a bit worried as we still had a week left at work with nowhere to live. The managers were initially apologetic but became hostile and argumentative, one blaming the other for giving us false information as they said we could return on the Monday. They eventually ‘found’ us a room but told us it would only be for one night. When we got there we found it was a horrible, dark, dingy room. We were angry as we had paid to stay at the hotel for a few days after we finished work. We looked for another hotel but there was nothing available due to recovery workers using all the available rooms. We needed to act fast. We decided to leave early and head to Brisbane. It meant cancelling our original flights and paying for another hotel but at least we would be getting out. It had been an awful last few days and we couldn’t wait to put it behind us.
The next day we said our hasty goodbyes and packed our belongings. No leaving/retirement night out for us! Brisbane here we come!