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30 January 2007


While other towns near Sydney are growing larger, people are moving away from Warragamba.

LAUREN MARTIN: It was established to provide a home to the thousands of men building Warragamba dam. Now the town of Warragamba has outlived its purpose. While most other suburbs on the outskirts of Sydney are booming, this place is dying.

SANDRA HARLOR: Warragamba has always been a happy, bustling, busy place.

LAUREN MARTIN: It all changed in the summer of 2001.

SANDRA HARLOR: We lost the supermarket, we lost the pharmacy, um, another premises that was over there, the community hall - the church community hall - and the priest residence all burned. The fires leaped over things to land on other things. It was bizarre. There were a couple of attempts to build a supermarket on the original site. Between council regs, finance and bad luck that one fell through.

LAUREN MARTIN: With an empty block where the supermarket once stood, people here started to shop elsewhere.

MAN: Hello.

WOMAN: How's it going?

MAN: Good thanks.

WOMAN: How is business?

MAN: Oh, a bit quiet. Not much around, not much happening. I feel sorry for the old people in town, because without the supermarket next door it's a bit hard, but if we can all pull together and we work together, we might be able to work something out.

LAUREN MARTIN: So they have pulled together and they've come up with a plan to save their town. It's a discount petrol scheme. Spend your money locally, you'll get a discount voucher to use at the pump.

And people are also pinning their hopes on the sale of the old supermarket site.

WOMAN: If we sell it, I think it'll go really well, yeah. Bring the people back into the town.

WOMAN: We definitely need the people coming back into the town.

MAN: OK, Matthew, we might kick this off, if we could mate, OK? The hour now is 11:00, ladies and gentlemen. I've been instructed to auction the property here at Warragamba on behalf of the agent which is Forman and Williams - Matthew Neil, and Tom Williams and attendants from that office.

LAUREN MARTIN: On auction day, there was plenty of interest, but no sign of money.

MAN: No bids received. Mike? I'll close it in, sir.

MATTHEW NEALE: The site can be seen as too expensive. By the time you develop the site, put the supermarket on the site, purchase the land to do it, you're probably looking at a couple of million dollars investment.

LAUREN MARTIN: Do you think you'll sell it?

MATTHEW NEALE: I think we will sell it after auction, yeah.

LAUREN MARTIN: In the meantime the business community in Warragamba will be relying on the new discount petrol scheme to bring shoppers back to town. But an outsider might wonder - should Warragamba be left to die a natural death?

SANDRA HARLOR: No, no. My father-in-law was a dam builder. Sorry, and it's important. My husband grew up here, my kids grew up here, my grandkids are growing up here, and it is a safe...a beautiful place. We have the small town atmosphere here and it' shouldn't be let die.

story notes

Established means set up, or started.

To provide means to supply or give someone something they need.

Warragamba is a small town near Sydney in New South Wales.

outlived its purpose
Purpose describes the reason why something exists. To outlive means to live for longer than. So, if something outlives its purpose, it continues to exist even though it doesnít have a use anymore.

If something is booming, itís very successful.

A pharmacy is a chemist - a place where you can buy medicines.

The word premises refers to the land and buildings owned by someone.

A residence is a home.

fell through
A plan or arrangement that falls through can't be completed because something has gone wrong.

Example: The sale fell through at the last minute.

Here stood is the past tense of the irregular verb stand. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: stand

pulled together
To pull together means to work hard as a group in order to achieve something.

Example: We have to pull together and make this company a success.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb pull together, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: pull together

come up with
thought of

Example: We need to come up with new ideas
For more meanings of the phrasal verb come up with, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: come up with

pinning their hopes on
To pin your hopes on someone or something is to hope they will do the thing you want.

Example: The team are pinning their hopes on the new star player to make them a champion team.

kick this off
To kick something off is to start it.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb kick off, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: kick off

in the meantime
In the meantime means in the time between two things happening.

Example: It's five o'clock and the train leaves at six. What are we going to do in the meantime?
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

someone from outside the town

grew up
To grow up is to gradually change from being a child to an adult

Example: Children grow up quickly these days.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb grow up, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: grow up