Steve Cansdell
Steve Cansdell

Woolworths cops blast over liquor licence

CLARENCE MP Steve Cansdell has turned up the heat on Woolworths over the company's continued fight against Palmers Island Pit Stop owners Graham and Kris Downing for a liquor licence.

Mr Cansdell recently released a scathing attack on the company, describing them as 'bullies'.

"I can just see the headline in The Financial Review ? 'Woolworths' share price plummets as micro store wins grog licence' ? yeah, right," he said.

Woolworths has blocked the application by Mr and Mrs Downing since last March because they believe their subsidiary BWS, which has a store in Yamba, would suffer financially.

In a cruel twist of fate, Woolworths only found out about the application when one of their lawyers coincidentally overheard the matter being raised in the Licensing Court of NSW.

Up until that point, no objections had been raised to the application.

Mr Cansdell said it was ironic Mr and Mrs Downing had received nothing but encouragement from other local independent bottle shops who would be at much greater risk than Woolworths.

He said the couple had also been let done by current laws, which made them outlay huge capital with no guarantee of a return.

"Under the NSW Labor Government's rules, the Downings have had to spend big dollars at great personal risk upgrading their shop and parking before the courts will even consider their licence application," he said.

Palmers Island Pit Stop owner Kris Downing said they appreciated the support of the community but were still undecided as to their next course of action.

"We are still waiting to hear back from our lawyers in Sydney and we will wait for their advice before making a decision," she said.

Mr Cansdell has called for the rest of the community to support the Downing's by shopping locally.

"Next time you're off to do your shopping, whether it's for a bottle of wine or some genuinely fresh food, pop into your local independent trader instead," he said.

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