Minyip continues fight to keep fuel station

THE Minyip community will continue its fight to keep fuel available, with the town’s only fuel outlet set to close at the end of the month.

Minyip resident and Yarriambiack councillor Corinne Heintze said BP Advance had sold its Minyip fuel outlet to Lowes Petroleum.

“With the changing of hands comes any new Environment Protection Authority rulings, which have changed since the last time the business swapped hands,” she said.

“The new ruling means that no fuel pumps can be on the street because if there is a spill, it can get into drains.”

The changes mean the current fuel outlet cannot operate at its existing site. 

Cr Heintze said the outlet was meant to close in November but BP Advance granted the town an extension until the end of January.

“BP granted us an extra two months, which will expire end of this month,” she said.

Residents have now been trying to find an alternate site for the fuel station.

Cr Heintze said because of harvest and now the holiday period, the situation was moving slowly.

She said residents were hopeful a GrainCorp site in the town would be a suitable place for a new fuel station.

”Lowes Petroleum is keen to install card-operated diesel and petrol fuel pods at the GrainCorp site, but we are still working out the logistics, permits and infrastructure that will be needed,” she said.

“Dealing with GrainCorp is proving quite slow because the company has been busy with harvest.

“The representatives we have spoken to are in favour of the fuel site being on GrainCorp land, but we are yet to discuss terms of lease and purchase.

“Once we get GrainCorp to sign off on a lease, it is still going to take six to eight weeks for that site to be up and running, so the town could be without fuel for some time.” 

Cr Heintze said the community had also applied for a further extension from BP Advance, in a bid to keep the current Main Street fuel outlet open. 

“So now we are trying for another extension as there's no way a new card operated fuel station will be up and running by the end January as the processes, permits and planning just take too long,” she said.

Cr Heintze said she was confident that Bendigo Bank would also come on board help run the fuel station as a community project.

“Bendigo Bank is interested in taking the situation on as a project, which will certainly save setting up another committee of management,” she said.