The Durong South General Store closed in January 2017 and is now on the market for $180,000
(Photo: Property Sales & Rentals)
South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell (Photo: SBRC)

March 20, 2019

South Burnett Regional Council is seeking public feedback on a proposal to locate a fuel cell at Durong.

Residents living in the Durong, Boondooma and Chahpingah districts have been forced to drive long distances to get fuel since the area’s only fuel outlet – the former Durong South General Store – closed in 2017.

Last March, Council resolved to locate a fuel cell in the area. On Wednesday, a spokesperson said Council had now received funding from the Federal Government’s Drought Communities Program for the project.

It is now seeking community feedback on the fuel cell’s location.

Mayor Keith Campbell said he believed the best location was a site the Council owns at the corner of the Mundubbera-Durong and Chinchilla-Wondai roads, almost directly opposite the former General Store.

The site was once used as cattle yards and a dip, but is now used by B-double truck drivers to park their trailers as they ferry freight in and out of the region.

Mayor Campbell said Council officers recommended decommissioning the cattle yards and dip to allow more space for the fuel cell.

“The Drought Communities Program will fund upgrades to the site entrance and exit, pavement and surface of the existing parking area, and upgrade the drainage to achieve all weather accessibility,” the Mayor said.

“The proposed site would allow heavy vehicles to turn safely in and out, and manoeuvre to access the fuel cell or decouple trailers.

“A fuel cell in Durong will offer convenience to the community by enabling residents to fuel up without having to drive to one of the larger surrounding towns.

“So I’d encourage all Durong area residents to get in touch with Council and have their say on the proposed location.”

Feedback will close at 5:00pm on Friday, April 5.

Residents can send their feedback by email or by phoning Council’s Property Section on (07) 4189-9100.


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13 Responses to "Feedback Sought On Fuel Cell"

  1. Ross Trevor  March 20, 2019

    Darr Creek service station is located 20km from the now closed Durong store on the Chinchilla-Wondai Road. The question is, would a fuel cell force another small business in the area to close, losing both fuel and a small roadside cafe-come-general store?

    Reply
  2. Lorna Wieland  March 21, 2019

    This article is not correct in saying that the Durong Store was the “area’s only fuel outlet” or in stating that residents have to “drive to one of the larger surrounding towns” to obtain fuel. 19km from the site of the Durong Store is Darr Creek Oasis Produce and Fuel Store just beyond where the South Burnett area ends and the Western Downs begins.

    Reply
  3. Truth Will Out  March 21, 2019

    Not only is Darr Creek servo close to the proposed site, this decision will have effectively put the nail in the coffin for the Durong South store ever re-opening. Who is going to want to buy it now?

    This council doesn’t seem to like small businesses very much but has a history of bending over backwards for some “special” groups some of whom, surprise surprise, are LNP supporters.

    https://disclosures.ecq.qld.gov.au/Map/Index?View=Table&GovernmentType=State&Electorate=NANANGO

    Reply
  4. Ben  March 21, 2019

    What the….. so existing fuel delivery business is available near across the road, there is another within 20kms that the article seems to have missed or the Council has, yet because the Federal LNP wants to prop up a pro-LNP region with State LNP representation right on the eve of an election, an existing business is effectively screwed over, let alone the towns/communities that have given generational loyalty to it.

    What a disgraceful misuse of public expenditure screaming for improved socioeconomics, essentially employment.

    Few will benefit whilst the remaining majority continue the trajectory of leaving the region. Regional electorates must start to drop their LNP reliance, and support much needed change, or this type of action will continue damaging the area further.

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  5. Rod Long  March 21, 2019

    Yes, Darr Creek is 20km from Durong. But it’s 40km from Boondooma and Chahpingah, so maybe residents who live there feel happier about this.

    It’s also worth pointing out that no-one will stop Durong residents who like travelling to Darr Creek from pursuing their normal habits after a fuel cell goes in. But residents who don’t like burning fuel unnecessarily will now have a choice. That’s what a free market is all about, isn’t it?

    Finally, let’s remember the reason Durong Store closed was that there wasn’t enough local support for what it offered. Darr Creek has expanded beyond food-and-fuel into rural supplies and from what I hear, are doing well out of it. So good luck to them for offering something westerners *do* like and support, which shouldn’t be impacted by a fuel cell very much at all.

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  6. Ben  March 21, 2019

    What is the status of the land use in reference to the past cattle dip, as this may upset the EPA folk if there is a risk of leakage of contaminants? Can the pre-existing fuel station not be invested in, surely at less cost? If the previous business failed due to lack of demand, why would yet another across the road, perform any better? Also, which fuel will be available, or is this a one-only “market” specifically for a small sector of public demand?

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  7. Bill Weir  March 21, 2019

    As far as I know all cattle dips are classed as contaminated land, and so are fuel outlets. So my guess is putting a fuel cell on the block would save the Council money because they wouldn’t have to decontaminate the site and the Federal Government will pay for upgrades that Council (ie all of us) would have to pay for anyway. And since the Council already owns the land, using the truck parking block would also save them the $180,000 extra they (ie all of us) would have to pay to buy the old Durong Store.

    But I take the point several people have raised that if the Durong Store couldn’t sell enough fuel to survive, why would a fuel cell do any better?

    I can only think of two ways: it offers fuel at such a low price everyone wants to use it in preference to other fuel outlets, or traffic along the Mundubbera-Durong road is expected to expand in future so the number of potential customers goes up.

    Reply
  8. Lindi Pott  March 21, 2019

    As a local to both Durong area & Chahpingah in the agricultural farming sector … when it comes to Darr Creek Oasis, they are a “fantastic” rural store to get near whatever you need for the farming sector, or Pete will do his best to get it for you. But it is sad that the bulk fuel prices there haven’t been the lowest. Lack of competition does play with this matter.

    The districts around would certainly have to travel a lot further for everything if Darr Creek wasn’t there. We travel the 45km reasonably often instead of traipsing to Kingaroy on our lovely roads, so in short, we would be upset if Darr Creek & it’s rural supplies, foods, fuels were no more.

    In the past, the Durong Store did not have large enough fuel storage to supply fuel for the bigger tanks to fill up – many mobile fuel pods, trucks, or machinery really – so we could not often support the store for fuel.

    When it comes to having fuel cells there on the old pad/dip, it is a great idea.

    How would anyone be paying for the fuel? Travellers would be able to support it if being by credit card, or is it by a token? How often would the cells be maintained?

    Most people traditionally have fuel tanks at home that get filled by a bulk carrier to save money, so would the fuel be priced at the bulk prices as well? I could imagine farmers around in the districts would probably utilise the fuel held there for the trucks, machinery, pumps etc, using both diesel & petrol, especially when things are tough & we are not wanting to purchase a large quantity of fuel to save the pennies.

    We have to take in mind the wear & tear on our vehicles from the roads, no matter where we have to travel to get the fuel supplies, so this would be a factor to be added in to the equation.

    Great idea, but a few factors to consider.

    Reply
  9. Lindi  March 21, 2019

    Attention: Truth Will Out. Has it ever occurred to you that maybe the Council is actually trying to look after the farmers for a change, relieving the locals to the East, South & North of Durong of some of the pain we suffer quite often with the high expenses we have already in everyday running of our farms. We have been slogged with huge rate increases last year, & now our Unimproved Land Valuations have near doubled in some cases, so why would we not be grateful for a helping hand for a change!!?? Darr Creek is a great rural store, but well out of the way for some to which, NONE of us would ever want to see closed!

    From what is said, the Durong Store closed down due to many factors! Some fuel tanks were pretty small, leaked,& were as old as the hills, & the power bills were killing the lessee due to the old wiring, poor insulation, & next to no maintenance by the landlord … the list goes on, but the FOOD WAS ALWAYS ENJOYABLE.

    If someone had enough money to renovate the store without the fuel cells, if fuel was already over the road, then it would be one less headache for them because as I understand, it would “cost a great deal” to replace the old storage tanks which was once considered by the last lessee.

    Why does everyone have to think POLITICS all the time??

    Reply
  10. Ross Trevor  March 21, 2019

    There’s no mention of what fuels will be available – both petrol and diesel, or just diesel not usable by the vast majority of traffic passing through this intersection.

    Almost all landholders are serviced by bulk fuel deliveries at tax exempt rates so any argument that fuel obtained at taxed rates will be used by locals seems unlikely at best.

    Trucks fuelling up are also unlikely given the range and nature of the industry particularly fleet trucks having their own dealer networks.

    It should be noted the township of Proston has no fuel available with in the town limits and locals have been calling for a fuel service centre for several years. If servicing local needs are the driver behind Commonwealth funding of fuel suppliers and their establishment for community benefit, this location fits both community requirements and adds a service missing to the town and surrounds for many years.

    Reply
  11. Pam Roughan  March 21, 2019

    Proston really needs a fuel servo. People have been discussing this for a while now. We have people passing through and they need fuel. We have to tell them to go back to Hivesville servo, as we haven’t had fuel here for a long time.

    Reply
  12. Faye Edwards  March 22, 2019

    Normally I would not post on a forum like this but this needs to be said. Yes I am the owner of the Durong Store, yes it is still for sale.

    And as for the comments above in regards to leaking fuel tanks and no maintenance being done, please get the facts before you start writing information in regards to the store.

    Yes the tanks are only small compared to other places. There is only 2 tanks, 1 ULP and 1 Diesel which both hold 4200 litres each.

    The property is ready to open as a fast food store/general store as soon as a buyer comes along as I have had the council there to make sure that it is up to current standards.

    I am well aware with the store not opened what a dent is has made in the community. But maybe the government should give incentives to help the small businesses in rural areas stay open in the hard times like drought and floods.

    Reply
  13. Ben  March 23, 2019

    Well, Faye has certainly cleared a few misunderstandings amongst the community and, seemingly, Council’s intent, noting the approvals have been secured for the pre-existing business.

    Surely the existing option can be supplied by the existing providers who service those having bulk on-property storages?

    I note that BOTH types of fuel could be sourced again from the pre-existing business location across the road from the proposal that is seeking to spend public monies for profit (to whom?).

    Why is the proposed spend of public monies on contaminated land being considered?

    Reply

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