Council approves Yamba Maccas

AS THE majority of the public left the gallery at the Maclean Council Chambers after the first item on the agenda at Monday’s Clarence Valley Council meeting, the word ‘shame’ was heard over the shuffle of feet.

This public dissatisfaction was caused by the Council approving the Yamba McDonald’s submission and could be heard during the entire debate. On several occasions, members of the public shouted while councillors were speaking.

One member of the gallery interrupted Councillor Margaret McKenna while she was speaking about litter to ask if she would accept all McDonald’s-branded litter found around the township of Yamba on her front lawn.

It is also believed a councillor may have shed a tear once the approval went though.

After 90 minutes of debate, of the seven councillors that did not declare a pecuniary interest only Ian Tiley and Sue Hughes voted against the motion to approve the application.

Cr Tiley brought up the Economic Impact Study, or lack thereof, that was presented to council and moved to reject the application on 10 grounds he presented to all councillors.

“There is currently a vibrant mix of restaurants in Yamba ... and we need to protect the finite Yamba food pie,” he said.

The arguments in favour of the application were just as heated and issues of criminal activity and litter were raised.

Councillor Ian Dinham moved to make an amendment to change the closing time of the development to 11pm.

“I have attempted to research the impact on other areas where such development has been given the go ahead,” he said.

“I found that McDonald’s offers different product and creates its own separate market and then customer base.”

A touch or humour was added when Councillor Craig Howe noted: “To my knowledge, criminal behaviour is not attributed to hamburgers.”

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