In Cann River, commercial businesses are hoping that tourists, passing through, or staying at the camping ground or other accommodation in the town, will provide a much-needed financial boost to local businesses.
It’s been a difficult year for the township with a lack of tourists being able to visit, however, the building of the United service station has provided a workforce that has kept Cann River in the black.
The service station has taken nine months to build with about 300 people working on the makeover at various times.
The nine-million dollar project was completed last week and provides multiple bowsers for greater fuel capacity, along with a truckies lounge.
“It’s the biggest servo around,” Garry Brown, from United Service
Stations told the Snowy River Mail. “It will be great for the town.” Those working on the rebuild have stayed in local accommodation and eaten at the pub and cafés.
Barry Barker, from the Hop Inn, said it had been “busy all year”.
“With DELWP and workers here associated with the service station, it hasn’t been too bad a year,” Mr Barker said.
“I’m not looking for charity yet,” he said.
Relics Café also reported brisk trade with local workers dropping in for meals and takeaways.
Kerry Marchi, from the café, said once the borders re-opened in late November, she started to see people from Victoria and New South Wales.
Ms Marchi said there had been a good sprinkling of tourists from Melbourne in recent weeks eager to shake off the confines of lockdown.
“There’s a lot of people heading to Mallacoota and many drop in and comment about how the bush is regenerating,” she said.
Ms Marchi says others express surprise at the extent of the fire’s path.
She said while some Cann River residents were anxious about what’s left to burn, Ms Marchi is of the view that she’ll never see a fire like that again in her lifetime.
The Wild Rye’s Bakery has also been busy since the border re- opened.
“It’s definitely picking up and we’re expecting it will be really busy over the holidays,” Sarah Cochrane said.
“It’s good to just see people around, seeing bums on seats is fantastic, it’s bloody terrific,” Ms Cochrane said.
Local Cann Valley resident, Paul Austen, who was gardening nearby, said “it’s a hell of a lot better now”.
“This will provide a much needed financial injection into the town,” he said.
Lance and Christine Baker, who run the Cann River Bakery, said they were impacted severely when the border closed.
“If you haven’t got enough tourists coming through, it’s very difficult to survive,” Mr Baker said.
“With JobKeeper we were able to keep our two bakers, they didn’t leave town, so we are very fortunate.”
Mr Baker anticipates a busy period over the next few weeks and a boost to the financial coffers.
“It will improve out of sight,” he said.
Judy Howell from the Cann River post office told the Snowy River Mail lots of parcels were arriving in town.
“It’s coming up to Christmas and everyone’s been online ordering,” she said.
Sarah Cochrane, from Wild Rye’s Bakery in Cann River, described the passing traffic through the town as “bloody terrific”. K480- 8225