New OTR causes mixed reaction from Tatiara locals

LOCAL VOICE: Tatiara locals have had their say on Bordertown's new OTR fuel station.
LOCAL VOICE: Tatiara locals have had their say on Bordertown's new OTR fuel station.

It has been years in the making, but Bordertown's newly redeveloped OTR has finally opened with mixed reactions from locals.

The OTR will have a Subway restaurant, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and a 24/7 service station, whilst creating 18 new jobs for the town.

On October 11, the Border Chronicle uploaded a story to its Facebook page that confirmed the new fuel station was set to open its doors this week.

Nearly two weeks since the Facebook post was uploaded, 82 comments from current and former locals provided a sample size of how the news of the fuel station has been received by the public.

Overall, the comment section provided a number of mixed opinions, with some happy about the arrival and others fearing for the future of other locally owned businesses.

Liz Harfull said it was "a very sad day for other locally owned and operated businesses".

"Think about the negative impact and likely job losses for things like local bakeries and the other servos who will likely lose trade," Liz said.

They continued by relating the affect OTR's have had on other country towns, including Kingston, Naracoorte and Coonalpyn.

In 2017, Peregrine Corporation, which operates OTR stores across the state, closed Coonalypn's BP service station which left many locals angry over the loss of their only petrol station.

It hasn't been all doom and gloom for the newly opened Bordertown store, with some locals seeing it as a potential benefit to the community.

"An upgrade on that old eyesore site at the entrance to Bordertown is long overdue," Helen Till said.

"Cleaner and more hygienic facilities, a variety of foodstuffs and more organised parking, especially for trucking and car/caravan drivers, has got to make it safer and more attractive for people to stop."

She finished with: "Bordertown has some great alternatives if you don't want to go to OTR - for those who fear for the fate of our bakeries, remember they do supply other businesses around town too."

OTR general manager Darryl Cotter said: "The newly built OTR Bordertown store affirms the company's commitment to investing in South Australia."

"We are employing young members of the South Australian community and providing training and career pathways; just one of the reasons why we were recently awarded the 2018 Large Retailer of the Year by the National Retailers Association."

In June 2018, OTR launched an innovative community program, OTRGive, which will benefit a number of local community groups in the Tatiara region.

Every time a customer shops or refuels at the Bordertown station with the OTR App, OTR makes a donation on the customer's behalf to the community group of their choice - at no cost to the customer.

"We are encouraging all of our OTR Bordertown customers to download the OTR App to help us give back to the community," Mr Cotter said.