Fay Connell prepares to say farewell to those lawns she’s been mowing
Fay Connell prepares to say farewell to those lawns she’s been mowing Renee Pilcher

River Road to get Woolies servo

FAY Connell has mowed the lawns on her two properties for many years, but these days she says she prefers to limber up on the Gunabul Homestead golf course.

And, thanks to plans by Woolworths to open a new highway service station at her place, she will soon be able to play as much golf as she likes.

The two properties, on the River Road section of the Bruce Highway, just south of Saddleworld and across the road from Hungry Jack’s, will soon be a busy petrol outlet.

That will be a good thing, especially for traffic management at Woolworth’s other outlet, near Monkland Street.

“The other one gets cluttered and people can’t get in a fill up and they get cranky.

“I won’t go there for that reason.”

And, despite many fond family memories, Fay says her days of barbecues and companionship in the once quiet country neighbourhood are gone now and she is happy to move on.

“I’ll just buy another place. I lost my husband and I still can’t really talk about it,” she said.

And the traffic is so noisy now.

“You get woken at night and the lights shine in.

“It used to be a quiet one-lane road with one shop on the corner,” she said of the intersection to her south, which now is better known as the central point for at least three shopping centres, including Centro.

“My husband was a lovely man. We had six kids – four sons and two daughters.

“We used to have barbecues at Christmas.

“It was just a single road with a little corner shop and every Friday we would buy a treat of some kind from the shop.

“We love Gympie and the kids had a big back yard to play in.

“I mowed the lawns all my life and I mow the one next door too when we don’t have tenants.

“My husband had birds and didn’t want to move, but he always said that if I was left alone, I would have to be able to sell and move.

“It’s mainly the traffic noise, especially when people are going home.

“When the big trucks go by, you can’t hear the TV.

“The big air horns just deafen you,” she said.

“But I never thought it would be a service station. I thought a Sizzler outlet or something.”

Maybe that was partly an association with her family tradition of big barbies in the back yard.

“We haven’t had too many barbecues lately, but we’ll have a big one this year, when the sale goes through.”

Fay’s home and her rental next door remain subject to approval of the Woolworths project from the Department of Transport and Main Roads, according to council planning records.

The project was listed as one of council’s “Planning Applications Pending, ” one of about 20 listed for mention at Wednesday’s meeting of Gympie Regional Council’s Planning and Development Committee.

The application, for properties at 92 and 94 River Road, Gympie, has been lodged by Woolworths Pty Ltd and the TFA Project Group.

It is to allow a service station and associated “environmentally relevant activities” including “chemical storage,” involving the storage of between 10 and 50 cubic metres of fuel.

The application is one of about 170 pending applications currently going through council’s processes.

Planning Committee chairman Ian Petersen has pointed to the large number of development applications as a sign of business confidence in Gympie’s future.

Other new applications include a church at Groundwater Road, Southside, and a medical centre at Imbil Island Road, Imbil.

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