The closure of Derrinallum’s only service station has rocked surrounding businesses, who fear for the future of the town.

The Metro Petroleum service station closed without notice last week, forcing the community to travel further afield for its fuel needs. 

Derrinallum businesses are worried people will now bypass the town completely.

“The locals aren’t happy, it puts the whole town under pressure because it stops people from calling into the town,” Mount Elephant Hotel Motel co-owner Wayne Parkin said.

“If people can’t get fuel they are going to keep going, and once they keep going it’s hard to get them to come back.

“People used to stop for fuel and come down to the pub to get something to eat and drink, now they’re not and we’re feeling it a little bit.

“Local farmers that their diesel for tractors and such will be the ones hurting the most.

“This is going to hurt the town in the long run.”

The service station operator had ‘family issues and decided to leave and return to Sydney’, according to a statement by Metro Petroleum Victoria.

It comes after a five month closure of the servo while the businesses underground fuel tanks were replaced and the building renovated. 

This is going to hurt the town in the long run: Wayne Parkin, Mount Elephant Hotel Motel

Former petrol station and Urquhart Motors proprietor Geoff Henderson ran the business for 35 years and said the closure was a shock.

“It’s absolutely shocking, I had 35 years there and to see the town go backwards like this is really sad,” Mr Henderson said.

“I think it went for auction around seven months ago and it didn’t even get a bid. 

“It’s disappointing that it’s shut, we left a pretty good business, we didn’t even put it on the market.

“I reckon a lot of businesses have really struggled since the bombing.”

Corangamite Shire mayor Neil Trotter said the closure was ‘concerning’.

“There’s a lot of concern because the service station brings a lot of business to the town,” he said.

“It’s a very important part of the business structure of the town, when you lose those kinds of services you don’t get them back, and it impacts every other business in the town.

“We were hopeful when the business was revitalised because the operator did quite a bit of work on the premises. 

“It would be great if someone could come in and get it running again, not only does the site provide fuel but there’s a mechanics too to serve the needs of the local and farming community.”

Councils’ growth and engagement manager Rory Neeson said it was working with Metro Petroleum to find a new operator.

“The closure of the service station is disappointing, however, council is keen to work with Metro Petroleum to find a new operator for the site,” he said. 

“In the meantime, there continue to be alternative options for residents in the north of the shire to obtain fuel.”

Interested parties are asked to contact Metro Petroleum Victoria representative Adam Jacobs on 0408 015 588.

Mr Jacobs was contacted for comment.

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