Mayor Brett Otto and Cr Kathy Duff outside Murgon’s Target Country at the weekend (Photo: Cr Kathy Duff)

May 25, 2020

South Burnett Mayor Brett Otto has approached the State Government in a bid to convince Wesfarmers to change its mind about the future of Murgon’s Target Country store.

Wesfarmers announced on Friday it would be closing  up to 75 Target stores around Australia, including 50 Target Country stores which it did not believe were suitable for conversion to small-format Kmart stores.

It later confirmed the Target Country store in Murgon was among those earmarked for closure in “early-mid 2021”.

The announcement has shocked local residents and the business community.

Murgon Business Development Association planned to meet on Monday evening to discuss the closure and organise a response, including a community petition.

Mayor Otto said Target had advised Council it was contacting staff to offer support and provide offers of employment or redeployment as available.

“Target have also advised that they will be working with other employers to find additional opportunities for existing staff,” Mayor Otto said.

“It is aware of the impact this transformation will have on local communities.

“I am extremely conscious of the importance of this store to the people of Murgon, Cherbourg, Wondai and all of the surrounding farming districts.

“It is the sole supplier of various items, a vital business in keeping people shopping locally and provides 10 local jobs.

“Rest assured that I will be supporting (Division 5) councillor Kathy Duff in doing whatever we can on this matter.

“I have today reached out to the Premier in seeking the support of her office in approaching the Kmart group as to options for converting the Target Country store to a Kmart hub.

“I have also spoken with the corporate affairs department of Target Country and await their response as to possible alternative strategies for the Murgon store.

“Cr Duff is also working closely with the Murgon Business Development Association to prepare a community response, including a petition to the Kmart Group.

“We are also working hard on other options for job creation in the local area and will keep everyone informed on our progress as we are able to do so.”

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