BUSINESS QUESTIONS: The hinterland town of Eumundi considers what makes good commerce.
BUSINESS QUESTIONS: The hinterland town of Eumundi considers what makes good commerce. John Mccutcheon

Brewing up new business to help Eumundi perk up

IN 2013 a proposed development on the Eumundi Butter Factory site earned the ire of some residents, but a local councillor believes a soon-to-be revealed development proposal has Eumundi written all over it.

The previous application lapsed, however Division 10 Sunshine Coast Councillor Greg Rogerson said the latest developers have completed a pre-lodgement application outlining a proposal which takes in the area from the old service station to the Eumundi Butter Factory site.

"It is in keeping with the heritage and grassroots style that you would expect in Eumundi," he said.

"It is a great addition, utilising and enhancing the existing site."

The proposal could be the answer for Eumundi townsfolk concerned about a diminishing number of core businesses.

Opinion letters to Noosa News have lamented the closure of the newsagency and the butcher who now trades in Noosaville, saying a lack of services has forced locals to shop elsewhere. But no one has to leave town for a coffee. A range of coffee shops has popped up, prompting a disgruntled resident to label Eumundi as: "One big coffee shop."

Although the town is renowned for its Wednesday and Saturday markets, it seems the influx of visitors does not offer regular, extra business to local stores and in some cases there's been a decline in their business.

Locals describe the markets as a "double-edged sword". Some say it puts the village on the tourist map, but not the business map.

On the other hand everyone asks: what would Eumundi be without the markets?

Discover Eumundi Heritage and Visitor Centre manager Wendy Birrell remembers the pre-market era.

"Before it was started in 1976, we were hardly a dot on the map," she said.

The premise that Eumundi is simply a two day a week town, making big market profits not shared with rest of the town is rejected by the president of Eumundi and District Historical Society Donata Page.

"Eumundi is not awash in gold," she said.

In fact this year, the usual community donation was not made due to the huge cost of building maintenance.

A recent survey of the three historical buildings, including the markets site building, revealed the need for major renovations. "There is also operating costs for our staff - the museum is open seven days a week," Donata said.

Future market funds will also contribute towards the just commenced upgrade of Dick Caplick Park, while the council has requested a $650,000 contribution to the proposed $1.3 million work to be done on the market area known as 'the terraces" opposite the School of Arts.

"The council said if we don't pay it, it will be turned into a dog park," she said.

Ms Page said insurance costs were huge and multiplying and the group also paid public liability for special community days.

But most of all she stressed that if locals wanted more out of the association, they should come along to the meetings.

"We are open and transparent and would love you to volunteer with us," Ms Page said.

The Eumundi Combined Community Organisation Ltd's audited income statement at June 30, 2014 reported revenue of $986,594 with a profit after income tax of $66,257.

Details at: www.eumundicco.

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