Op shop faces closure if new premises can't be found
THE Billabong Op Shop in Calliope needs a miracle.
The store, which serves the needs of many community members, has until the end of November to find another premises.
So far, they've had no luck.
Pastor Delphine Parter said the store had been lucky to have the use of the old butcher shop on Murrihead St for the past three years.
"The property owner was kind enough to let us use the space and go him halves in the rates. He's a real gentleman," she said.
"The development he's been planning is now going ahead so we need to leave.
"We really just need somewhere to put a shed with plenty of parking.
"We've been keeping an eye out but nothing's come out.
"We've been told there's no council land available."
Volunteer Robyn Brown said the shop helped a lot of people.
"Two people have cried when I've told them about us having to leave," she said.
Along with affordable pre-loved items, the Billabong Op Shop is a meeting point within the tight-knit community.
"Plenty of people drop in regularly and have a yarn," Ms Brown said.
"We have people come from Biloela, Gladstone and Mount Morgan."
Billabong Op Shop regulars George and Lyn Van Den Elst are devastated the store may have to close its doors.
Mrs Van Den Elst Lyn said many people relied on the shop.
"This shop means a hell of a lot to people," she said.
"We're pensioners. I pretty much furnished my house from this shop."
Mr Van Den Elst said the high cost of living was taking its toll on the community.
"Not everyone in town is a miner," he said.
"The shop is always very busy. Everybody's feeling it."
Anyone able to assist the Billabong Op Shop should phone 4975 7066 or 4975 7266.
The op shop will close its doors on November 30 if a new premises cannot be found.