The old fish co-op in Brunswick Heads, now known as Brunswick Heads Seafood is closing today.
Staff were informed on Friday that the shop would be closing and that they would have two weeks notice in lieu.
Speaking with The Echo, owner William Silverman said that it is:
’With a heavy heart Brunswick Heads Seafood have to give up a struggle with NSW Dept Crown Lands and close down the business at Brunswick Heads old co-op for the time being. We are unable to sustain financial losses without some clear guidelines and encouragement from The Authorities in NSW Government.
We are very sad this means closing the old co-op, the loss of jobs and a local payroll of $60,000 per month severely affecting livelihood and ritual of Brunswick community. We have struggled to have our voice heard since our purchase of the old co-op sixteen months ago.
- Crown Lands preferred Masterplan makes no provision for a sustainable future of the commercial fisherman and the old Brunswick co-op
- In fact it proscribes demolition of the existing jetty and timber walkway; a local treasure and integral part of the loading facilities of the fishery.
- Crown Lands seem gung ho pushing a Master Plan not supported by local stakeholders.
We wish to see a revival of a working seafood and recreational port at Brunswick Heads to contribute and regenerate simple pleasures of Brunswick Heads.’
Plans by the Crown Lands to develop the Brunswick Heads Boat Harbour were put on display in April 2016 with community concerns being raised over the ‘large amount of parkland that could be turned into parking.. Options in the report include 68 boat trailer parking spaces and 160 car parking spaces, effectively turning most of the open space into carpark.’ See here.
The Brunswick Heads Progress Association president John Dunn highlighted the need for upgrades to the facilities at that time but also emphasised the importance ‘that any changes do not detract from the low-key charm that defines Bruns and makes it so appealing to both residents and visitors.’
Silverman said that they needed the support of the Deparment of Primary Industries (DPI) to revive the simple pleasures of Brunswick ‘as a working port and for community recreation.
‘The DPI doesn’t value regional employment and commercial facilities for local produce. It’s Masterplan is all about boating not jobs and community.
‘Unfortunately we’re having to close today. Very disappointing for everyone and sad day for people for whom The Bruns Old Co-Op had provided so much family pleasure.’