CHINCHILLA business owners Ian and Jenny Alexander are saying goodbye after 28 years in the fuel game.

The BP service station in the heart of the town is undergoing a change of owners this week as Ian Alexander, Jenny Alexander and their son Mark had over the reigns to giant BP Australia.

There are no longer many family-owned service stations, according to Ian, as workplace health and safety, and compliance laws make running businesses like this increasingly difficult for independent business owners.

“I reckon it’s hard for independents to survive with compliance, there’s a lot more compliance now and workplace health and safety,” Mr Alexander said.

Ian Alexander at the BP in 1973
Ian Alexander at the BP in 1973

“The company owned company run sites… they just have access to more resources.”

Jenny Alexander agreed, adding: “there’s more boxes to tick, and just more red tape with everything you do.”

Working so closely with the community over the counter on a daily basis was the best part about the business, Mark said.

“The highlights, you have them every day… with the banter and the belly laughs.

“I think it’s just the nature out here in Chinchilla … at its core it’s down to earth. You have your people with hobby farms, on the land, or just blue-collar workers.”

Through times of stress, with trying to keep up with the gas boom, and numerous floods, Mr Alexander said it was the amazing staff and community support that helped get them through.

“We’re just humble, and we couldn’t do it without our staff,” he said.

“Their ocker (spirit)… they love a beer, they love a rum, and they love a yarn and they’ll have a joke,” he said.

“We thought we’d sort it out while we were capable, see a lot of families leave it too late, next thing there’s a dust up… or a health issue.

Mark, Jenny, & Ian Alexander BP
Mark, Jenny, & Ian Alexander BP

The community has been like one big family, Mrs Alexander said, and they couldn’t have done it without them.

“We’d like to thank them for their continued support,” she said.

Extracted from The Chronicle