Tourist pit stop: River St Woodburn is packed with takeaway businesses catering to travellers and truck drivers.
Tourist pit stop: River St Woodburn is packed with takeaway businesses catering to travellers and truck drivers.

Bypass makes for boutique business

Many Woodburn locals and business owners are hoping the new highway, built to bypass their town, will bring positive change.

The Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade is the final link in the Pacific Highway, between Hexham and the Queensland border, to be upgraded to four lanes.

When completed this year, the highway will span 155 kilometres; contain nine interchanges, more than 170 bridges; and will bypass Woodburn, South Grafton, Ulmarra, Broadwater and Wardell.

For Woodburn residents, the fear of loosing business from tourists passing through does not outweigh the opportunity create a tourist destination, with boutique businesses that could offer respite from noisy trucks.

Resident Sue Filicietti, born and raised in Woodburn said she loves tourists and meeting new people but she doesn't think the town will be able to sustain the amount of food shops which means there's an opportunity to change the towns dynamic and support retail shops instead of being a pit stop for truck drivers.

"It will be good for the town, get ride of the trucks hopefully," Ms Filicietti said.

"It will go quite initially and then pick up again.

"Once some of these shops empty out, which they will because they are all takeaway food related, we might get some eclectic business come in and hopefully make it a destination people want to come."

"I hope the place doesn't die."

Brett Richards, senior sales assistant at Iguana Beachwear Gifts & Home Decor located on River St said he can't wait for the highway to move.

"For the people who want to stop here will have somewhere to park and the trucks and the noise will be gone," Mr Richards said.

"Particularly this year with the fires it's gotten busier because I think people have stayed local and not gone away."

Brett Richards: highway bypass to make way for boutique business and boost local customers
Brett Richards: highway bypass to make way for boutique business and boost local customers

Mr Richards said he wanted to see more designated after the highway was relocated, more signage on the off ramps to remind people about Woodburn and for the supermarket to open again for supplies to have picnics in the park.

"We have got a local client base now so we think it will be slow for six months but we think it will be good."

"We will weather the storm."

Quilter Narelle Acworth: Highway bypass to make way for boutique business.
Quilter Narelle Acworth: Highway bypass to make way for boutique business.

New business owner, quilter Narelle Acworth, opened Byndees precuts five weeks ago on River St and said it a bit of a 'wait and see' situation.

"It's going to stop the trucks, I would see.

"I did sign up to being here knowing it's going to happen, I still see the way Woodburn has done up the nice park and people know the food, they are still going to stop."

"It's still that toilet break and food break."

"I don't think it's going to affect us too much."

 

 

Highway bypass to make way for boutique business.
Highway bypass to make way for boutique business.