Mak­ing a quick pit stop could boost small town’s econ­omy

Dubbo Photo News - - News - By JOHN RYAN

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.

PHOTO: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS

John Solomons at Geurie’s Pit­stop Garage.

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