Making a quick pit stop could boost small town’s economy
JOHN Solomons spends hours at Geurie’s Pitstop Garage where he works, watching potential customers drive straight past the fuel bowsers out the front.
He says the drought has been crippling.
The Geurie area may not be getting the high-profile dust storms happening out west, not just yet anyway, but the mixed farming landscape in the area has come to an almost complete halt, with locals hanging on to every dollar they don’t have to spend.
“Yeah mate, the fuel sales have just dropped astronomically. I mean, no-one sowing crops, noone’s driving their trucks, no-one’s on their tractors, so they’re not buying fuel, and in turn they’re not coming into town to the shop to buy a drink and a pie – it’s really starting to hurt,” Mr Solomons told
There are campaigns in the major cities to entice metropolitan dwellers to drive out to the drought-ravaged bush and spend a few bucks, stay the night, buy fuel and have a beer and counter meal.
Mr Solomons would like to see a local version of that, where Dubbo residents driving to Orange or Sydney wait until they get to Geurie before filling up their tanks.
“Just fill up here mate, our prices are competitive with Wellington and Dubbo so there’s no reason why they can’t,” Mr Solomons said.
He reckons that if 100 extra people filled up their cars and trucks in Geurie every day rather than buying fuel in Dubbo, it would make an enormous difference to the Geurie economy. He believes the much larger Dubbo servos would barely notice a drop.
“It’d make a huge difference. They might stop here and then go down to the coffee shop, it would just have a roll-on effect,” he said.
He’s appealing to his Dubbo-ite neighbours from just up the road to try the Pitstop’s fuel just once, even half a tank, to see how easy it is to change a behaviour that could mean so much to Geurie.
“People don’t really have to do anything major in a different way – it won’t put them out if they’re travelling to Orange or Sydney just to call in and get their fuel here,” Mr Solomons said.
“Dubbo and Wellington, especially Dubbo, they’re full of people who work for big corporations and government departments and if you buy fuel from little independents like us, all that money stays local.
“There’s always a friendly smile and good service, 100 per cent,” he said. WESTERN Local Land Services has worked with landholders and stakeholders, including the Brewarrina Local Aboriginal Lands Council, to protect several Aboriginal campsites on two properties in the Western region which include hearth sites (ground ovens) and stone tools.
The protection work was carried out on multiple sites on Ngemba tribal lands, four hours north of Dubbo, known locally as ‘The Marra’.
Without intervention, further erosion would put the sites at great risk of being damaged beyond recognition and unsalvageable.
Groundcover regrowth and replacing soil has been elected as a way to encourage the growth of a number of plant species.
Landholders and community members seeking assistance to protect Aboriginal or historical sites should contact their nearest Western Local Land Services office on 1300 795 299.
John Solomons at Geurie’s Pitstop Garage.