Servo shuts doors

THE last independent service station in Warwick has been forced to shut its doors due to rising costs.

Deborah and Jason Rhodes yesterday told the Daily News from July 25, the Warwick Star Service Station - which has been operating for nearly 50 years - would have to close.

Mrs Rhodes said they simply could not compete with the discounts the larger outlets across the Rose City offered.

Her husband said they had run the service station at a loss for almost six months in the hope they could turn it around.

“There is nothing we can do about it... we can't possibly match their prices,” Mr Rhodes said.

“We are consistently paying a higher wholesale price than what the big companies are selling their regular unleaded for.

“We have offered full driveway service including pumping of fuel, window washing, checking of tyres and friendly personalised service.”

Mrs Rhodes said she would drive across the Rose City and see fuel sold for less than what they paid for it from the supplier.

“We have been ringing our really good customers; they have told us they never even looked at the price, they came here for the service,” she said.

The Rhodes operate a car sales business from the same site, at the corner of Wood and Wallace streets, and intend to expand this.

“We have just put an application in with the (Southern Downs Regional Council) at the start of the month,” Mrs Rhodes said.

“It won't be approved before we close the doors but we can't keep running at a loss.”

The couple used to own Just Because Gifts and Flowers, which Mrs Rhodes opened five years ago.

They sold it in April this year so they had more time to care for their two young children, Levi, 2, and Cooper, four months.

Mrs Rhodes said thankfully they would be able to keep their two employees from the service station - Martin and Karen Shepherd - to work in the car sales business.

The service station was owned by the McKillop family for about 42 years and the site has previously been operated as a car dealership.

“We are selling the fuel station equipment... it will never be a service station again while we own it,” Mr Rhodes said.

We can't possibly match the prices of the big companies...

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