Supermarket back on menu

THREE months ago Clarence Valley councillors voted against the sale of the Maclean car park.

Tomorrow they will vote to potentially quash that decision after a recision notice was lodged by councillors Karen Toms, Jim Simmons and Margaret McKenna on February 6.

If the three councillors are successful, the debate to sell or lease the public land to a supermarket developer would be back on the council's agenda.

Councillors Tiley, Hughes, Dinham, Howe and Toms voted to stop the sale of the land in 2008.

Cr Toms would not comment on her support of the recision notice or if she had changed her mind.

She said she would rather wait until after the meeting and leave comments on the issue to the Mayor.

Mayor Richie Williamson said it was the council's prerogative to change its mind.

“If there is new evidence to suggest we should revisit the issue, then we will,” Cr Williamson said.

In the weeks leading up to the council meeting, all nine councillors have received an avalanche of phone calls and emails from both sides of the car park issue.

“There's no doubt about it, the public is very interested in this debate,” Cr Williamson said.

“We're here to listen and respect everyone's opinion, which is what we've done.”

If the vote goes against the notice of recision, the sale of the car park land will again be dropped by council.

But if the recision is supported, councillors Toms, Simmons and McKenna have proposed two motions.

The first is for a workshop to be organised to give councillors an understanding of the expressions of interest received by council to build a supermarket in Maclean.

The second motion effectively calls for a fresh vote on the sale of the land at the April council meeting.

A large crowd is expected at the council meeting tomorrow at the Maclean chambers from 4pm.

  •  In a separate issue, the reconfiguration of the Maclean car park will also come before council.

The civil and corporate committee has recommended council allocate $239,000 to create 84 new car parking spaces, three caravan spaces and two footpaths through Cameron Park.

Provision would also be made for a vehicle access ramp and turning bay in the eastern section.

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  •  That the general manager convenes a workshop for all councillors as a matter of high priority to provide a full briefing from the staff working party on the expressions of interest received regarding a supermarket in Maclean.
  •  That a report be brought back to council, at the April meeting, to determine whether or not to proceed with the sale or lease of council car park, Lot 101 DP 1110269, McLachlan Street, Maclean, for the establishment of a supermarket.

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