The future of the Blackwater BP petrol station is unclear.
The future of the Blackwater BP petrol station is unclear. Lee Constable

Closure of CQ mining town business shocks community

RESIDENTS of a Central Queensland mining town are shocked as a business announces its closure just days after another outlet closed its doors.

Zoe Omega, an employee at the Blackwater BP petrol station confirmed the news on social media saying the lease was due to run out on April 30.

Residents expressed their sympathy for the handful of employees thought to be out of a job as the Mackenzie St fuel station prepared to close its doors.

This comes as beloved Italian pizza restaurant, Mamma Rosa's, also closed up shop suddenly last week leaving locals saddened.

 

Bruce serves up a slice of pizza at Mamma Rosa's. 
Photo Meghan Kidd / CQ News
Bruce serves up a slice of pizza at Mamma Rosa's. Photo Meghan Kidd / CQ News Meghan Kidd

Owners of the 30-year business, Brucie and Rosa O'Sullivan, are much loved icons in the mining town where residents started a fundraiser to keep them afloat.

Ms Omega cleared up any assumptions the closures were connected saying it was a sad loss to the community.

 

Zoe Omega, employee at BP Blackwater, confirmed the lease of the petrol station ran out on April 30.
Zoe Omega, employee at BP Blackwater, confirmed the lease of the petrol station ran out on April 30. Contributed

"There should be no assumptions made about the owner or the land and the community should be mindful of the fact that the employees that work there are dealing with job loss," she wrote in a Facebook post.

Despite these recent closures, latest REIQ figures from December showed a 4.2 per cent decrease in vacancy rates from 12 months ago in Central Highland homes.

The market was expected to improve as jobs, and confidence, returned to the mining region with Emerald real estate agent Wendy Thornberry saying new tenants were usually ready to move into newly-vacated houses almost immediately.

Principal of Elders Emerald, Ms Thornberry has been in the real estate game for 15 years and has seen plenty of ups and downs in the region which is usually at the mercy of mining busts and booms.

She said her experiences on the ground in Emerald over the last few months were mirroring the latest REIQ figures which showed vacancy rates had dropped dramatically in a year.

 

BP Blackwater.
BP Blackwater. Contributed

It was unclear whether another petroleum company would take over the existing BP building after the lease ran out.



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