An open letter to the IGA Queensland State Representative
from Philip Atkinson (14th February, 2010)
By telephone 24/1/2010 at 1.45 PM IGA stated they are a Warehouse & Distribution Business Only — no further response will be given.

Dear IGA Queensland Representative,
I am acting on behalf of the residents of Jandowae who are concerned by the appearance of workmen claiming to be building an IGA store in the town.

We fear that the new owner has been misinformed about his prospects so he will not only destroy a number of existing businesses, leaving them without a livelihood and unable to sell the premises their business once occupied, but he will suffer the same fate: the IGA hero's new business will fail and the building it occupies will prove unsalable; leaving the town with no grocery store, no hardware store, no newsagent and no café, just five (including the IGA store) more empty decaying buildings.

To allay these suspicions can you please explain how the new IGA hero of Jandowae expects to finance the building, stock, and running costs of his store in a small country town with a population of less than 1,000 people; the majority being pensioners and many unemployed people?

Business people in the town of Jandowae who have been officially approached over the establishment of a new shopping complex have publicly claimed that the figures used to justify the business venture are nonsense. The agents who have been trying to persuade shop owners in Jandowae to buy into the proposed shopping complex have made outlandish claims by stating that customers will be drawn from other country towns, such as Bell, which is untrue. Bell is closer to Dalby than it is to Jandowae. Dalby is a major shopping centre with a large population and apart from the numerous services at Dalby which are unavailable in Jandowae, Dalby boasts such stores as Woolworths, Coles and Foodworks making grocery prices very competitive. An array of other large stores such as Target and all the stores that cater to the many local farmers are to be found in Dalby. It has also been stated that customers will be drawn from Chinchilla. Not true. Chinchilla is a much larger country town than Jandowae and not only boasts two IGAs but has a large variety of strip shopping that Jandowae does not have. Chinchilla is 62 kilometres from Jandowae through uninhabited farmland areas. Why would they come to Jandowae to shop? The salesmen stated that customers will be drawn from Dalby to Jandowae to shop. That is ludicrous! People from Jandowae, Bell, Chinchilla, and Kingaroy regularly go to Dalby to shop!

The business people in town, many who own the buildings from which they run their businesses, are appalled that the rents asked for shops in the complex range $300 - $500 p.w. . It would be impossible to rent the premises at that price as the population is not large enough to make a profit under those conditions.

So to allay the suspicion that you are deliberately duping the intending owner of the proposed new Jandowae IGA complex, would you please publicly tell us how many customers you have told him he will get, and where you think they will come from.

Not only do the citizens fear for the viability of the business, but they also doubt the viability of building any brick building in the town because of the unique nature of the ground in Jandowae. Has the hero been advised of these problems? The black soil of the Jimbour plains is famous not only for its fertility, but for its constant movement. Any visit to the Jandowae cemetery clearly reveals the ground not only moves, but suffers waves that lift, crack, tilt and fracture all rigid structures. Hence the walls and pavements will regularly crack, requiring constant work and expense to avoid the inevitable law suits that would otherwise arise from public liability claims; never mind the problems arising from doors and windows jamming or failing to close.

As the web master of the Jandowae website I will publish this letter along with your reply, so that all the residents can learn from you why their fears are misplaced.

So that we know that the intending new IGA 'hero' is aware of our concerns perhaps you could ask him to reply to the author directly.

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