Asren Pugh, Bangalow.
It’s refreshing to see cross-party opposition to the food hub near Bangalow. It should now be clear to the Joint Regional Planning Panel that they should reject the proposal as it stands. With a unanimous vote in Council, across Labor, The Greens, Nationals and Independents and the strong concerns raised by the Bangalow community the message is clear.
It is a shame, however, that Mr Franklin’s response seems to be to make these iconic Byron businesses up stumps and leave the shire.
These local businesses, such as Brookfarm, provide much needed diverse employment opportunities for the Shire. The Shire is already overly dependent on the tourism industry. If we don’t support diversifying our economy with alternatives to tourism, we will continue to suffer the ups and downs of a fickle tourism market.
We need local businesses that can employ ordinary people in diverse jobs, including in food manufacturing. Some of these local businesses say that they have been trying to talk to the council for up to four years to get support for their growing businesses to stay in the shire. Council and Mr Franklin, as a representative of the NSW government, should be working with these businesses to find a way for them to stay here, along with their jobs.
What a shame the only two parties that were willing to meet with community members were the Greens and Nationals. Both were respectful of the community and neither chose to use this as a political stunt by attacking their opponents. Shame Labor for using Bangalow as a political football. Ben Franklin never, ever said the 2 and we say only 2 businesses need to leave the shire. Wow if Brookfarm need to relocate to Ballina for suitable Industrial land instead of RU1 land hey 20 minutes is so far to travel especially with direct access to highways!! Stop playing games get real this DA is too big and in wrong location. EVERYONE acknowledges that.
Those of us who oppose the mega food hub industrial development welcome Labors support and acknowledgement that this development is too big and in the wrong place.
You are right in saying that it should now be clear to the JRPP that opposing this DA is the only option.
You are also right in identifying the importance of jobs for this region but shire borders have little relevance if you are jobseeker.
Unfortunately you grossly undervalue your contribution by taking potshots at council and politicians to make your point. Cut the politics, stick to the facts and do it for community support and not political gain.