Sonia Sillitoe and Ros Shaw at Shaw’s road house in Goomeri.
Sonia Sillitoe and Ros Shaw at Shaw’s road house in Goomeri. Renee Pilcher

Travellers give economy a boost

THE Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, and the floods that took so much away from the people of Goomeri last year gave something back on Sunday.

With the Bruce Hwy cut at Gympie, Goomeri found itself on the main route to and from Brisbane as traffic of all shapes and sizes was diverted west around the flood zone.

And with that traffic came hundreds of hungry travellers.

The economic windfall that followed was akin to the financial injection Goomeri receives from its May pumpkin festival, an event that last year drew 13,000 visitors.

Deputy Mayor Tony Perrett told the ABC a number of shops in the town had to restock on Monday.

"Those out-of town dollars certainly provide a bit of impetus and ongoing support to those businesses because a lot of them do it tough as we know in those areas and they can struggle but to get a situation where most of them sold out of their food and products is a great bonus to them," he said.

Mayor Ron Dyne said Goomeri had been caught unawares by the flood of people but had certainly benefited from the fact that, as opposed to usual flood events in the region, the inland highway stayed open.

Shaw's Roadhouse owner Ros Shaw said 12 buses stopped at her service station on the outskirts of Goomeri on Sunday alone, and hundreds of travellers.

Roadhouse employee Sonia Sillitoe was called in on her day off to help deal with the masses.

"We went to the IGA in Murgon and bought out every piece of steak they had and sliced it up, and every loaf of bread," she said yesterday. "And we still ran out."

Among the visitors were 400 Queensland Rail travellers who had to be bussed back to Brisbane.

"It started at 10am and I didn't go home until 10.45pm," said Ros.

Gympie Times


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