Business groups not giving up on Target closure
BILOELA business representatives will seek local support for a petition to try and reverse the decision to close Target Country.
Callide Dawson Chamber of Commerce president Steve Bates is spearheading a joint initiative with Biloela Enterprise to construct some sort of petition or appeal to present in state parliament.
Mr Bates said the decision by Wesfarmers ‘isn’t a done deal’ and enough community support could see the store stay open beyond 2021.
“What we need is for people with Kmart and Target discount cards, to register comments of disapproval of this move because Wesfarmers will listen to what they have to say,” Mr Bates said.
“If you have a card they will be forced to listen to people that shop there religiously.
“It’s a $900 million hole that they are trying to recoup by shutting 54 Target Country Stores.
“We could have a dig and see what happens because I don’t think they like bad publicity.”
Last Friday shockwaves were felt in the Biloela community and across regional Australia after Wesfarmers announced the closure of 167 Target stores.
Callide MP Colin Boyce said while he was happy to support the petition and present it to state parliament, he said it would be unlikely to see the decision reversed.
“You take it to parliament and probably present the petition to the Premier and get her to respond to the petition as to what her thoughts are,” Mr Boyce said.
“At the end of the day I think she will say exactly the same thing, that’s it’s a commercial decision by Wesfarmers.
“Whether or not she has enough influence to change that decision, the reality from my point of view is the answer would be no.”
Mr Boyce said a positive for Biloela businesses was that can they could fill a market void that would be left behind from Target Country.
Biloela Enterprise president Michaela Lawson said the store’s closure had a silver lining in that some small Biloela businesses now had the opportunity to fill the hole.
“The Kariboe Street Collective will reopen soon as the Little Market Company and may bring in some things,” Ms Lawson said. “We have Vinnies which has the space for all those clothing lines.
“In the shopping centre we have Millers but that doesn’t cater for the kids.
“The downfall is there won’t be a shop in town for kids’ clothes but that doesn't mean another shop can’t come in.”
Mr Bates said he was to have a petition ready in the next week or two and that the McConaughy Group have told him they would back the petition.