Service station shuts down

UNITED Petroleum has temporarily closed its Woolgoolga service station but the closure will be for as short a period as possible, the company said.

In a surprise move, the service station now leased by United was closed down about 7pm on Friday and the site is now fully enclosed within worksite safety fences.

Martin Monaghan, the national retail and operations manager for United Petroleum, said it had become impossible to continue selling fuel while the landlord was conducting a tank replacement, because of the difficulties of manoeuvring around the site and pumps, so they had made the decision to cease trading.

“Looking at the retail performance of the store, it was not practicable to continue trading,” Mr Monaghan said.

“We hope it is in the best interests of the landlord to get the upgrade finished in the shortest possible time.”

Yesterday the owner of the adjacent business, the Woolgoolga Nursery and Garden Centre, was hoping that work progressed swiftly, because the fenced-off site was affecting her business.

Joanne Egan has been struggling to attract customers to her nursery since February 16, when a major diesel leak at the service station saw one of her two entrances fenced off.

On that day both the nursery and service station were closed down while firefighters and hazmat crews cleaned up an estimated 2000 litres of diesel from a drain and the ground on the service station site. The leak is believed to have come from an old tank disturbed or damaged when an excavator began work on the site.

The nursery itself is not directly affected by the leaked fuel, which is believed to have been contained within clay soils on the service station site, but the business is being severely affected.

Mrs Egan is keeping her nursery open for now but said the situation had become more difficult since Friday.

She said with extra fencing, her entry was now “a rabbit warren” and it was almost impossible for passersby to see the nursery past the huge fences.

“Everything is up in the air,” she said.

“When they start work the nursery will have to close because they don’t want members of the public on the site close to contaminated waste.

“I will have a pass to be able to go in and water, but we might be closed for six to eight weeks.”

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