THE battle to save Ampol Port Macquarie has proved fruitless, with the doors closing for good tomorrow night.
Owner Lloyd Chandler is sad the eight-year chapter of his life has finished, but remains hopeful a new opportunity would arise.
Mr Chandler helped his 10 employees find work elsewhere - no thanks to petrol giant Caltex, he says.
But The 57-year-old is yet to find work for himself. In February, the Port News reported Ampol employees’ plea to the public about the closure.
Back then, attendant Craig Dingeldei posted a message on the Port News Facebook site.
He asked readers to call or email the station’s owner, Caltex, about the closure.
Many locals did – but to no avail. Mr Chandler said he now accepted the move was necessary for the company.
“I can see where [it’s] coming from,” he said.
Environmental Protection Agency standards meant major infrastructure were needed, and the Gordon Street site would need too much work to be viable for Caltex, Mr Chandler said.
He was disappointed the company did not keep its word to help staff find alternative employment.
In February, a spokesman said: “We would be willing to assist the franchisee to introduce affected employees to other sites in the area.”
But “they did nothing to help us in that regard,” Mr Chandler said.
He thanked the community for its support over the years.
Mr Chandler hoped another petrol station would take on the responsibility of driveway service for the elderly and people with disabilities.
Ampol was the only facility in town that offered the service, he said.
Caltex is developing a plan to decommission the site once it stops operating after 10pm tomorrow.