Declan Cooley, 16 December 2015

MAJOR UPDATE Thursday:

A PUMA Energy spokesperson confirmed Puma Calliope is now back open for business and expects  BP Gladstone City to be open later this afternoon as well.

EARLIER:

AS OF 10.30am all of the five service stations affected by the Puma take back were still shut.

They are expected to re-open by tomorrow morning at the latest, however.

The five Gladstone region service stations shut up shop suddenly yesterday.

All run by the same franchisee, global energy giant Puma has taken back control over the cluster of stations and locksmiths have been seen changing the padlocks on the front doors.

The franchisee, understood to be Rajesh Patel, would be doing a stocktake before departing, sources said.

A spokesperson for Puma Energy Australia would not confirm the reason for the dramatic take back, except to say that there had been a change in management.

They confirmed a third party had already been secured for all five service stations.

The stations are the BP Gladstone City, Choice Sun Valley, Choice Mount Larcom, Shell Kin Kora, and Puma Energy Calliope. The sites are owned by Puma Energy and were leased out.

“We will resume trading as per usual as soon as we are able,” a spokesperson for Puma Energy Australia said.

The changes surprised many people yesterday, and inconvenienced a lot of drivers, particularly at Mt Larcom where there is only the one service station.

Trever Rowe, from the Mt Larcom rural fire service, said: “They better not be closed any longer than they have because it will mean I’ll have to go to Gladstone to get fuel for the fire truck”.

In Gladstone, Eve Malone wrote on our story on Facebook; “…I was pretty low on fuel and went to 3 to get fuel not knowing …. and now I’m mega low and they are the closest to me.”

Liisa Jenkins wrote: “Wish I had of known about the closures I went to pull up at 2 different stations this morning on a red light low fuel reading finally found a garage that was open.”

Staff at some of the stations reportedly arrived at work yesterday and didn’t know what was going on.

Although Mr Patel would not comment on the changeover yesterday afternoon, a former employee said they believed there had been issues for some time.

“It wasn’t because they owed money,” he said.

There had also been talk from nearby businesses about late night practices, but no one would confirm whether this was the reason for the drastic changes yesterday.

The service stations are all expected to reopen within the next 24-48 hours.

UPDATE:

THE service station sites affected by the take over by Puma Energy are Choice Mount Larcom, Shell Kin Kora, BP Gladstone City, Choice Sun Valley and Puma Energy Calliope.

“These sites will be temporarily closed for the next 24 to 48 hours, and we will resume trading as per usual as soon as we are able. We thank our customers for their patience during this time,” a Puma Energy Australia spokesperson said.

WEDNESDAY:

FIVE service stations run by franchisees of Puma Energy will be handed back to the global energy company after a brief change over.

Puma already owns the service station sites around Gladstone and will take back full control before engaging a third party to operate the service stations.

The service stations affected by the changeover will conduct stock takes before re-opening.

So far the Shell service station on Philip St in Kin Kora and Puma Calliope on the Dawson Hwy are temporarily shut.

A manager at the Shell servo on Philip St did not wish to comment but said it would be open tomorrow.

Extracted in full from the Gladstone Observer.

 

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