DESPITE the black cloud that hangs over the Port of Echuca, its resident woodturners have no immediate plans to up stump and move on.
The Port of Echuca Woodturners, run by husband and wife Michael and Donna Katzer, have been operating in the port for the past 17 years and say in that time their roots have been planted deep.
And although they have been creating custom made furniture for years, their bespoke business is a rapidly growing one.
‘‘We do whatever people want us to make,’’ Michael said.
‘‘The tourism trade is slowing in the port so we are doing more custom furniture and that is definitely growing.
‘‘I love being here and creating my furniture here.
‘‘With the tourists who do come to the port and drop in on us my furniture is able to be sold overseas and right around the country.
‘‘That’s not something you get everywhere.’’
Michael said it is hard to get locals to the port.
‘‘People just think you will get ripped off at the port,’’ he said.
‘‘A lot of people don’t know we actually do custom made furniture, but rather think we do just giftware.
‘‘The more abstract and more unique an idea the more I love doing it.
‘‘I always say I don’t like making the same thing twice and with custom furniture people can get exactly what they want.’’
The Katzer’s believe they can keep their business thriving in the port although are unsure about the council’s plans for the former Oscar W’s building.
‘‘I have been on the fence about what is happening behind me here,’’ he said.
‘‘It has definitely affected tourism and something had to happen with that space.
‘‘I know what the port was like 15 years ago and I want it to get back to that again and we believe we can keep this going down here.’’