CALL TO ACTION: New campaign aims to save Murgon Target
RESIDENTS are still in disbelief that one of the region's most valued shops will potentially no longer exist next year.
The announcement to close Murgon Target was released on the weekend with the store planned to be shut down by 2021.
However, residents are not going to let this business leave the community without a fight.
The Murgon Business Development Association Incorporated held an urgent meeting last night to discuss and formulate a plan of attack moving forward.
Division 5 councillor Kathy Duff attended the meeting as a representative of council alongside other executives of the MBDA.
She said all of the people who attended the meeting all agreed that keeping this business in the community was essential.
"So many people come to Murgon to shop at Target Country," Cr Duff said.
"It provides specialised goods that you can't get anywhere else.
"If we lose this business, people will have to travel outside the region to shop.
"This is a serious issue for Murgon and our region that we will fight to save.
"We know that Target will no longer exist, but we are asking for a Kmart hub in its replacement.
"We believe it's not a trading issue, but it's the floor size that's the problem.
"However, there's more room out the back of the shop," she said.
"We want to let the Target Group know what we can offer them and show them the community is 100 per cent behind this.
"We will do everything we can to save the shop."
Cr Duff said she had been working closely with Mayor Brett Otto and together they have sent numerous letters to the likes of premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien to seek support.
She also said Cr Otto was in talks with people from the Westfarmers group who own the Murgon Target shop.
From last night's MBDA meeting, Cr Duff said they would launch a community initiative as a further call to action.
"We are starting a petition," Cr Duff said.
"It will be online and in person and we aim to get 2000 signatures.
"We plan to have someone out the front of the shop at Murgon so people can sign on the spot.
"We have received so much support from the Murgon community and also people from the surrounding towns who said they would volunteer to fill the role," she said.
"It's been amazing to see people throw their support behind us."
The Murgon store will be among 167 Target stores across Australia earmarked to close within 12 months.
In a note to investors released on May 22, parent company Wesfarmers revealed that up to 75 large format Target stores and Target Country stores could permanently shut, while up to 92 large format Target stores and Target Country stores could be converted into Kmart branches.
To sign the petition to help save Murgon Target, visit the website here.