26 Nov 2009

Owners of a Samoan resort destroyed by tsunami criticise Australian govt

12:24 pm on 26 November 2009

The Australian owners of a Samoan resort destroyed by the recent tsunami have criticised the Australian government for abandoning them in their time of need.

Seabreeze Resort, on Samoa's devastated southern coast, was hit with the full force of the September 29 waves and left owners Chris and Wendy Booth with crumpled luxury villas and a pile of rubble.

The couple, originally from the Sunshine Coast, have vowed to rebuild their business but say the lack of support from Australia has let them down and the lack of financial aid and help had been made worse given Seabreeze hosted several AusAID officials during the initial clean-up.

Her concerns have been echoed by the owners of Sinalei Reef Resort and Coconuts Beach Resort, two other major hotels damaged in the tsunami, which claimed the lives of 143 people, including five Australians.

The owners of both say slow insurance claims and aid distribution has left them feeling overwhelmed and disheartened.