Jeff McErlean of Mac's Sand and Gravel
Jeff McErlean of Mac's Sand and Gravel Nev Madsen

Long-standing business closes after almost 50 years

AN ERA of almost half a century has come to an end with the closure of Toowoomba landscaping and soil supplies company Mac's Sand and Gravel.

The Brooke St business in North Toowoomba which backs onto West Creek was opened by the late Bill McErlean in the early 1970s and Mr McErlean passed the business on to his son Jeff McErlean about 15 years ago.

However, a downturn in business has left Mr McErlean Jnr between a rock and a hard place and he's decided to close and look to other ventures.

"Probably over the past 18 months or so, business has become slower and slower," Mr McErlean explained.

"A lot of our business was supplying the bricklayers but even the brickies reckon business has slowed for them because they generally don't build things like they used to.

"So there's not the call for these materials."

Mr McErlean said his father sold the 1ha (2.5acre) site on the corner of Brooke and Jellicoe Sts to Toowoomba Regional Council some years ago when there was word the council was looking to resume the land as part of the proposed West Creek redevelopment project.

"I'm not sure what council will do with it, that's up to them," Mr McErlean said.

"I'm having a bit of a holiday, and then I'll look into finding a niche market.

"But I'd like to thank all the people who have worked with us over the years and helped to make Toowoomba a better place.

"We've worked with builders and businesses but also people doing up their homes with landscaping.

"It's amazing how you don't even know these people at first and next thing they're inviting you into their backyards.

"I've been lucky to meet a lot of good people through Mac's."

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