The recent statewide lockdown has emphasised the need for a Coota District Co-Op store, as residents can’t travel outside their Local Government Area to buy retail items.

Coota’s Target store shut its doors for the final time in April, leaving residents without a suitable retail shop in their own postcode.

Estimates conducted by The Coota District Co-Op shows the average cost of petrol prices (91) for return trips to neighbouring towns with large retail stores.

A return trip to Young is 97 kilometres or one hour and 15 minutes, equating to $13.00 in petrol used.

Temora isn’t too much further, at 107 kilometres or one hour and 20 minutes from Coota, amounting to a total petrol cost of $14.40.

Wagga is the furthest away from Coota to buy basic items, at 180 kilometres or two hours and 20 minutes away, totaling $24.14.

The Coota Co-Op District encourages residents to consider the inconvenience and cost of travelling to neighbouring towns for essential items, which could be bought locally.

Coota District Co-Op Board Member, Amber Wineman, stated on WIN News the current troubles by not having a Co-Op store yet.

“We don’t have anything in our Local Government Area like what we are trying to offer,” Amber said.

“So, we can’t actually go and buy any of our basic items that we need.”

There are currently 365 paying members of the Coota Co-Op, which has raised $113,000 in start-up capital.

The Co-Op requires a $750,000 start up, with over $635,000 still required to set up the business. Coota District Co-Op Board Director, Todd Basham, wants members of the public to come forward and join the cause.

“Concerned citizens thought that it would be a good idea to start up our own Co-Op which offered the community a discount variety store, a bit like Target, to try and replace what we had there before,” Todd said.

“If anyone is out there and interested in it, we need them to reach out to us.”

A Coota District Co-Op membership costs $20 plus a $10 share.

A membership includes a five percent discount on every purchase and offers a return on the initial investment.

The Co-Op is seen as a close and convenient alternative to travelling out of town, while employing local staff.

Visit http://www.cootacoop.com.au/ for more information regarding memberships.

Tim Warren