AFTER several years in the doldrums, green shoots are beginning to appear in Karumba with the re-establishment of mining in the Gulf and the return of live export adding economic opportunities to the region.
Small businesses in Karumba are beginning to benefit from the increased activity and are hoping to see flow on effects.
Karumba Supermarket and Cafe owner, Martha Crombie, said the crew from the MV Finola restocked the vessel with supplies from her shop for the return journey to Indonesia, which provided a welcome boost.
“The Finola resupplies here which is great… maybe they’re trying to promote local business,” Mrs Crombie said.
“It is great, it is really good and we absolutely appreciate it.
“It brings money to the town. It’s great for us. It’s a good order, it takes a lot of effort but that’s fine, we’re happy to do it. It’s significant and enough to be worth it.
“If we can get more boats in that’s great, we’ll be ready for them.”
Mrs Crombie said their fresh produce was sourced from the Brisbane market and arrived weekly.
She said she was hopeful the mine would bring further opportunities too.
“When the mine was here and in full production we were servicing the boat the which went every week and that was great too.
“And we’re feeding them in the cafe now, just the people setting the mine up to go. The men need to eat in the morning, so we’re feeding them.
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“Karumba has been in the doldrums for quite some time since the mine left and everyone needs to recalibrate.
“Plus the economy has been quite tough, the oldies are worried about their super so aren’t travelling as much and the drought on the land and drought on the sea, there hasn’t been the crabs or fish.”
Karumba Post Office owner Alan Gurney said Karumba would benefit from any increased activity with both live export and the mine.
“It’s huge, if we can get the numbers,” Mr Gurney said.
“If you get two boats a year it doesn’t mean too much, but if you get 10 boats that’s enough to keep someone gainfully employed, that’s money.
“It affects the town because you’ve got people coming in when the cattle are here to help out for short periods of time so that’s all extra money that they’re earning.
“The mine is even better, it puts so much money in to the town. If they do fly-in, fly-out, it’s not so good but if they employ people who were in the mine last time and live here, that would be just huge.”