Hope on horizon after a tough financial year
THE Maranoa is keen to close the book on what has been described as a 'difficult financial year'.
Mayor Tyson Golder said 2017-2018 had been a mixed bag for local businesses, with the economy yet to recover from the oil price crash.
"It's been a two-street economy, with some industries doing better than others,” Cr Golder said.
"I would say, being in retail myself, the retail economy is struggling - we need to keep as many of these businesses open, that way we attract more business to the area.
"We're lucky to see nomads and visitors coming through town, but they have been a bit thin this year and they inject money into our community
"We have a lot more houses, and that affects housing stocks that were here before. We have this large capacity but we need to fill it.
"And lastly, we definitely are in need of more rain. We are an agricultural-based community so we've had a little bit of rain, but really if we can get some early spring rain it would make a big difference to our community.”
However, it is not all doom and gloom for the region. Commerce Roma President Cyril Peet spoke on the flip side of the coin, highlighting the strength of new business ventures.
"I reckon in this financial year Roma will hold its own,” Mr Peet said.
"It'll still be a bit of a struggle, the whole of Australia is seeing it, but in terms of other regional areas, the Maranoa is doing all right.
"I would like to see the region develop, become more of a hub. The council have been developing their economic strategies to boost this.
"The Big Rig has doubled their tourism numbers this year by developing the facility and amending the night show.
"We've had a few businesses open and a few really prosper.
"ReX, run by Genevieve, is going ballistic - she's doing an awesome job and has doubled her staff in a few short months.
"Gretel Lane is another business that has really taken off, especially with the introduction of AfterPay.
"There is some big things on the horizon for local businesses, Moorelands is looking to expand, and we have had a few commercial spaces bought for development.
"It might be slow but we have seen a turn around since the floods, and from the looks of it the economy is starting to recover.”