Owner pumped by support for servo
THE overwhelming support of those in favour of bringing petrol back to Eumundi Service Station was too much for owner Bob Loudon yesterday.
He held back tears as about 100 people emerged at 2pm, bearing Save Our Servo signs, chanting and clapping in support of the long-running station and general store.
They were joined by a bus from Hinter-Coast Transport and vehicles from Eumundi Rural Fire Brigade, two of the biggest clients of the station, and supported by motorists who honked their horns and onlookers who applauded.
The footpath pumps were ordered to be switched off by Sunshine Coast Council under new State Government legislation this month.
Eumundi Service Station was one of five hinterland service stations affected by the new ruling, which identified people walking on footpaths with mobile phones or smoking as an unacceptable risk of igniting fuel vapours or spills.
The station must remain closed until it proves it is able to pump fuel safely.
"What can we say... thank you," an emotional Mr Loudon told the crowd.
"The support my staff and I have received has been terrific.
"The council and State Government need to know that this station has been here 82 years without incident."
Mr Loudon said he had only just started to look into the prospect of continuing the business without the aid of petrol sales.
He said they would "maybe just" get by without.
"This has been my life ... we've got to do what we can," he said.
Eumundi Rural Fire Brigade officer John Kenney said the closure of the service station would add an extra hour to every shift firefighters were volunteering for.
"We have to finish every shift with a full tank ready to go for the next call out," he said.
"We will have to go to Cooroy or elsewhere to fill up if we can't do it here.
"That's an extra hour us volunteers have to give up because we won't be able to get petrol in town.
"It's a major concern to us."
A submission requesting a review of the council directive to cease fuel operations was lodged last Friday.
Senior lawyer Louise Formosa, of Andrew Morris Legal Practice, acting on Mr Loudon's behalf, said they had yet to hear back from the council.