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Milko says goodbye

Graham Hartwig from Mareeba Iceworks has decided to close his business.

Another Tablelands business has been forced to close its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mareeba Ice works have been standing on the corner of Hort Street and Walsh Street in Mareeba for nearly 20 years.

Graham Hartwig had been distributing milk and selling ice from the premises since 2002, and he has now decided to shut up shop and call it a day

“I started delivering milk in 1990, I stopped the milk run in February of this year, because I got sick of getting up at 2.45am each morning and because I’m getting on a bit,” he said

“Then when the virus hit, ice sales went down to nothing, I have been in this building since 2002 and its time for me to retire.

“I was already thinking about retiring and the virus forced my hand.“ He said

Graham’s last sale was Thursday Morning June 2 selling his last two bags of ice, “after they went I just turned everything off.”

“I’ve sold most of the fridges and compressors and the rest is going to the tip.”

Another problem facing Graham’s business is that people can buy ice just about anywhere. “The bottleshops, the servos, the supermarkets, they all sell ice and I was only selling a tiny bit of it.”

Graham says times have changed from when he used to deliver milk direct to people houses. ‘I stopped delivering milk to people’s houses over 10 years ago. When milk deregulation came along a lot of businesses stopped, I just kept going.”

“I haven’t had a holiday for 30 years and I’m going to try and have a holiday and I’ve got family that I haven’t seen for 30 – 40 years so it’s time to go see them.”

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