Holbrook split on Caltex servo plan

HOLBROOK traders say they want a 24-hour Caltex service station in their town despite opposition from its chamber of commerce.

Nine traders yesterday voiced their support for the $6 million project, saying it would draw Hume Highway travellers into Holbrook.

A service station, fast food outlet and bakery would be built as part of the project, with more than 50 jobs estimated to be generated.

Matthew Pitzen, from real estate agency Landmark Pitzen, backs the plan.

“When it’s an opportunity for 40 or 50 jobs or so in a small community when you’re limited with other industries here, it’s tremendous,” he said.

“It gets the cars off the highway and they get the opportunity to come into Holbrook.”

Holbrook Bakery would open in the proposed site at the town’s southern highway interchange.

While its owner, Wes Black, has vested interests, he said it would benefit the whole town.

“If they employ new people in the town, four or five families could come and play sport and shop locally — everyone can benefit from it,” he said.

“There’s been nothing of this magnitude happening in Holbrook for God knows how long.

“It would be disappointing to let it go.”

Jag’s Cafe owner Gavin Cattle was also in favour.

“It’s on the outskirts so people will be more likely to travel through town,” Mr Cattle said.

“And it’s jobs for the young kids and it could encourage families to move out this way.”

Other traders including Mick Pitzen, Marree Hayne, Christine Murphy, Carla Black and Lisa and Brad Wheeler rejected the chamber’s opposition.

Chamber president Gail Chynoweth had told The Border Mail the development would bring trucks back into town.

“It will be shorter and easier for them to come out and go back up through town,” she said.

Greater Hume Council will handle the planning application this month or possibly hold a special meeting in January.

It originally favoured a service centre location at the town’s northern edge.

The $245 million bypass opened in July, making Holbrook the last town between Melbourne and Sydney to be bypassed.

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