Busi­ness grow­ing

The Tatura Guardian - - News -

Rochester’s Justin Clearly can most likely be found, on any given morn­ing, be­hind the counter of his ser­vice sta­tion and cafe´ — serv­ing a long queue of cus­tomers in high-vis vests.

Mr Cleary and wife Rachel have run the fam­ily busi­ness — Rochester Cal­tex on High St — for 16 years and they have since de­vel­oped the site from a ‘‘rundown old shed with a cou­ple of fuel pumps’’.

But re­cently, Mr Cleary has no­ticed more cus­tomers, who are more-often-than-not con­trac­tors, ma­chine op­er­a­tors and field staff on their way to work.

‘‘The busi­ness has been grow­ing,’’ Mr Cleary said, and at­trib­uted some of this to the flow-on ef­fects of the Con­nec­tions Project, which has heav­ily in­vested in the Goul­burnMur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion District to mod­ernise ir­ri­ga­tion in­fra­struc­ture in north­ern Vic­to­ria.

‘‘The peo­ple com­ing through are con­trac­tors, a range of truck drivers, con­struc­tion work­ers and busi­ness peo­ple — it’s been any­one in­volved in the Con­nec­tions Project,’’ he said.

‘‘In­stead of hav­ing a nor­mal win­ter cy­cle, where wemight see a slide down, it has lev­elled out.

‘‘We’ve had in­creased trade through the nor­mal win­ter lull.’’

Ac­cord­ing to Goul­burnMur­ray Wa­ter, this year alone, the Con­nec­tions Project is spend­ing $100 mil­lion on win­ter works.

The ef­fects of the project were also felt when Mr Cleary hired new staff mem­ber Re­bekah Charl­ton, who re­cently moved to Rochester from the North­ern Ter­ri­tory.

‘‘She came down with her part­ner and he got a job with a lo­cal con­struc­tion firm,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s a prime ex­am­ple of how this in­vest­ment is bring­ing peo­ple to the area and how our com­mu­ni­ties are ben­e­fit­ing.’’

Con­nec­tions Project di­rec­tor Frank Fis­seler said their work this win­ter in­cluded see­ing 35 km of new pipe­line at seven sites, re­me­di­a­tion of 33 km of chan­nel at 17 sites and chan­nel au­to­ma­tion at more than 270 sites.

Wa­ter Min­is­ter Lisa Neville said the $2 bil­lion Con­nec­tions Project was not only de­liv­er­ing ben­e­fits to the re­gion’s econ­omy, but was also cre­at­ing a sus­tain­able fu­ture for pro­duc­tive agri­cul­ture in north­ern Vic­to­ria.

All smiles: Rochester Cal­tex staff mem­ber Ja­nis Tam­burini, own­ers Rachel and Justin Cleary and staff mem­ber Re­bekah Charl­ton.

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