COMING BACK: Bec Collins (pictured here with Moura Bakery staff) says the town has picked up as customer numbers through the doors have grown in the last six weeks.
COMING BACK: Bec Collins (pictured here with Moura Bakery staff) says the town has picked up as customer numbers through the doors have grown in the last six weeks. Carly Goody - Crinkly Cotton Pho

Moura: The little town that will not give up

MOURA is back on the rise, a local bakery worker says.

New manager of Moura Bakery, Bec Collins, said sales had really picked up in the last six weeks - compared to how "dead” the town became when Gibihi Rd at Moura mine was suddenly closed in November last year.

The road was a major route connecting the Leichardt and Dawson highways to the Moura mine.

The closure was a result of routine blast which left "big holes” in the road, stretching 60 to 90 metres.

The road was immediately closed as Council and Anglo American deliberated how they would fix the road.

It was announced last month, Three Chain Rd would be re-opened to replace Gibihi Rd, with construction to be completed at the end of 2019.

Earlier this year, the then owner of the bakery Andrew Fyfe said he was seeing a significant cut in customers after the road closure.

John Eden took aerial photographs of Gibihi Rd's extensive damage.
John Eden took aerial photographs of Gibihi Rd's extensive damage. John Eden

Many workers were having to go via Banana to go to work and not coming to the bakery.

"Why travel all the way round when you can scoot through to Bilo... the mines were accommodating workers with buses as well,” Ms Collins said.

But Ms Collins, who has been in Moura for seven years, says things are starting to pick back up.

Queensland Nitrate Pty Ltd (QNP) currently has a shutdown, which has also brought more workers to town.

"It has really picked up, it's very positive,” Ms Collins said.

The positivity can be seen through some progressive changes in the bakery.

The store has put on new staff and has expanded their variety of sweets, cakes, breads and food available.

"The camp is now approaching us for prices,” she said.

The bakery has already introduced longer trading hours, opening until 4pm.

All things going well, they would like to look at staying open until 5.30pm in the next few weeks. There is also the possibility of extending Saturday until 2pm and opening on a Sunday.

The holes stretch 60 to 90 metres.
The holes stretch 60 to 90 metres. Anglo American

The store already opens at 4am for the early mine shift.

"And then you have the later change of shift.... so we are accommodating both ends of the scale,” she said.

The news of having the road opened has lifted the town's spirit.

Ms Collins said there were mixed opinions from Moura townsfolk on the decision to open Three Chain Rd rather than Gibihi Rd.

She said either way, it was still good news, because it meant "they are doing something”.

While Ms Collins said she had only been in the rural town for a relatively short time, she knew the power of the community and had faith in its future.

"I do believe you cannot knock this town down..... you can throw whatever you want at it... but this town is always going to fight back,” she said.

"They will not give up... this town has that devoted people that keep it going.”


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