Threat to Woopi
By LEE McDOUGALL
'AN UNACCEPTABLE situation' is how the Woolgoolga Chamber of Commerce has described the town's proposed Business Lands Review.
Coffs Harbour City Council voted on Thursday night to put the proposed review on exhibition for public comment ? a move welcomed by Woolgoolga Chamber of Commerce president Steve Moody.
Mr Moody addressed the council on Thursday night, holding up the 930 signatures collected in 36 hours in opposition to the proposed 'spot' rezoning of land on the corner of Pullen Street and the Pacific Highway, currently occupied by the Raj Mahal.
The proposed spot rezoning is to enable the proposed development of 4200sq.m of retail development.
"The proposed 3000sq.m supermarket and 1200sq.m discount department store, fast food and fuel outlet will, in our collective opinion, dramatically impact on the viability of the town centre," Mr Moody said.
"We have identified 25 existing retail outlets including two existing supermarkets in Woolgoolga's CBD that will be adversely affected by a new supermarket and department store on the Pacific Highway at the roundabout.
Cr Jenny Bonfield spoke passionately about how the council need not be dictated to by a large multinational over the future planning decisions of the Woolgoolga township.
"I look at this spot rezoning as a bit like the (American) Indians circling the tents," Cr Bonfield said.
"This is another debacle. The multinationals are coming in telling the community how they are going to develop. This is not what the communi- ty of Woolgoolga wants, but what the multinational wants."
Cr Rod McKelvey, who put forward the motion to exhibit, said strategic planning was required, rather than spot planning.
"Woolgoolga is a vibrant, bustling town. We need to make sure that we have the population to service such growth," Cr McKelvey said.
The review will go on exhibition from November 8 to the end of January 2007.