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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Golden arches over Mount Warning?

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McDonald’s famed golden-arches logo could soon greet motorists arriving in Murwillumbah from the north, with opponents saying it would sully the iconic view of Mt Warning.

A former milk factory on the old highway will be demolished to make way for the town’s latest fast-food outlet, if council approves a controversial proposal for a new 24-hour McDonald’s fast-food outlet at the old Norco site on Tweed Valley Way.

Around 50 people converged on Tweed Shire Council offices on Tuesday in protest.

The site will also house an IGA supermarket and the complex is expected to employ more than 100 people.

Several speakers spoke passionately against the plan at last week’s council community access meeting. It is expected to be dealt with next month.

Caldera Envrionment Centre secretary Sam Dawson told councillors they were being ‘led astray by corporate interests’ as the development application for the combined McDonald’s restaurant and IGA supermarket was ‘a Trojan horse’.

Mr Dawson said there was no objection to the supermarket but McDonald’s was ‘hiding inside the IGA application’ and it had ‘not fully revealed itself, biding its time and waiting to burst upon an unsuspecting population of established, hard-working family enterprises and throwing them upon its corporate sword’.

He said the McDonald’s restaurant would ‘indelibly change the character of the town of Murwillumbah’ and undermine the viability of many existing businesses in town.

He said a survey showed around 90 per cent of businesses in town opposed the plan.

‘Other than providing the community with branded garbage bags for the annual Clean-Up Australia Day, we expect little in return to the community in the way of benefits from this enterprise.

‘Why is McDonald’s a problem? Because of the poor quality food that it has to offer people living in the most obese nation on Earth.

‘Besides this fact, the Tweed shire already has a McDonald’s at Chinderah.’

Mr Dawson said the two existing fast-food outlets in town had assured him that all their produce was locally sourced from local bakers, butchers and grocers but ‘no such similar guarantees can be made by the McDonald’s’.

Murwillumbah’s business chamber supports the plan.


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