Sitting on a bend of the Macleay River between Kempsey and Jerseyville is Smithtown. Once busy towns when the waterways were full of traffic, but today’s freeways bypass many small towns and villages. Along with the coming of supermarkets and malls in regional centres, the dearth of traffic contributes to closing businesses in many rural communities.
Coming off the freeway at Frederickton, where the famous pie shop on the old Pacific Highway has lost most of its business in the twelve months after the bypass opened, we make our way via Smithtown to the coast. The Nestles dairy is still a major employer in Smithtown, so there are less houses for sale than expected, but most of the shops have closed. Oddly enough, it is a small working class town set amongst dairying and beef farms. On a rainy Saturday morning there is not much activity.
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