Pit Stop fight draws ministerial interest



REQUESTS for Woolworths to withdraw its appeal against the Palmers Island Pit Stop's bottle shop licence application may have been met with silence, but the plight of store owners Graham and Kris Downing has attracted ministerial interest.

On Monday NSW Minister for Small Business David Campbell phoned the store to learn more about the Downing's predicament after receiving e-mails from the couple several weeks ago.

According to Kris Downing, the minister said he was interested in their situation and requested copies of correspondence sent by the couple to Woolworths and other political representatives to take away and read.

And the letters to Woolworths CEO Roger Corbett have continued.

A fortnight ago Palmers Island resident Grant Neilson wrote a letter to Mr Corbett questioning Woolworths' decision to appeal the Downing's application.

"From an observer's point of view, there appears to be little or no thought, investigation or risk assessment as to why Woolies should appeal this application," the letter said.

"Letting the application proceed would appear to be a needless risk when economic factors are taken into consideration. The fact that none of the other competition ? Yamba has five other competitors, Maclean has eight and Harwood has one ? chose to appeal tends to support this viewpoint."

Mr Neilson is yet to receive a reply to his letter.



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