Yamba chamber vice-president Tania Williams presents petitions to council general manager Stuart McPherson.
Yamba chamber vice-president Tania Williams presents petitions to council general manager Stuart McPherson.

Yamba opposes McDonald's

PETITIONS opposing a development application (DA) for a McDonald’s restaurant in Yamba were handed yesterday to the Clarence Valley Council.

On the final day for submissions to council, general manager Stuart McPherson was handed 4464 signatures in two petitions.

The petitions were presented by Yamba Chamber of Commerce vice-president Tania Williams.

In the days which followed the official notice in the council papers telling the Valley that a DA had been lodged by the fast-food chain, anti-Maccas T-shirts and bumper stickers were printed.

Stalls were set up at the Lower River markets to encourage people to write objections to council, and a public meeting was called to rally against the golden arches coming to town.

“Eighty per cent of Yamba’s population and a majority of the chamber of commerce members are saying no to McDonald’s,” Ms Williams said.

She said the argument for youth employment and benefits to the community was flawed and that a ‘net loss’ would be the result of a McDonald’s in Yamba.

“We’re looking after our own community without them,” Ms Williams said.

The petitions will now be included in the council’s committee report to be presented at either the May or June meeting.

“I’m not surprised at the community’s opposition (to McDonald’s),” Mr McPherson said.

“Certainly the petitions will be taken into consideration and the assessment report will take into account the positive and negative aspects (of a McDonald’s in Yamba).”

He said it was too early to determine whether the McDonald’s DA ‘ticked all the boxes’.

Representatives from Valley Watch, the Yamba YHA as well as individuals against the development were also at Maclean council chambers yesterday in support of the petitions, all with a clear message that a McDonald’s is not appropriate for Yamba.

“Our youth employment is already supported by local family businesses,” Valley Watch spokesperson Janet Purcell said.

Businessman Stu Bowen, who runs Yamba Organics, said that a McDonald’s in Yamba was contradictory to the Valley council’s own annual Clarence Food Month.

“I was invited by council to help celebrate local and organic food in the Valley,” Mr Bowen said.

“McDonald’s food is sourced from wherever is cheapest and local restaurants will miss out on the $5 million estimated annual turnover that McDonald’s say they will generate,” Mr Bowen said.



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