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.