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Town on struggle street

Many of the shops in Yarraman have been empty for years. Photo Barclay White / South Burnett Times
Many of the shops in Yarraman have been empty for years. Photo Barclay White / South Burnett Times Barclay White

EMPTY shopfronts are an all-too-familiar sight on the main streets of Yarraman, and residents are worried about what it is doing to the town.

Michael Andreassen has run the Yarraman Hotel on the New England Hwy for four years and says his pub has always been surrounded by empty shopfronts.

"It's always been like that," he said.

"It's killing the town."

With much of his business depending on people passing through, he is concerned that the look stops many visitors from spending time in Yarraman when driving through.

At the pharmacy in town, Tyrone Fowler said the empty shopfronts were not a good look.

"It looks a bit like a ghost town," he said.

"I guess the town built up with the building of the power station and the mine, but it wasn't sustainable."

A long-time local, Melanie Routledge has lived in Yarraman for 30 years and says she has seen many shops come and quickly go from the town.

"Everyone who opens up doesn't stick it out," she said.

Yarraman Progress Association president Joe Stimpson said the town used to have a small but vibrant central business district.

"I can't see how we can bring this town back to what it used to be," Mr Stimpson said.

Changing demographics, the closure of the railway line and the closure of a forestry in the town had driven many businesses out of the town, he said.

Mr Stimpson said the only way to encourage more businesses to open up in the town was by residents making the effort to shop locally.

South Burnett

Topics:  south burnett, toowoomba regional council, yarraman


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