Woolies opponents push plan for farmers market
By RACHEL AFFLICK
MULLUMBIMBY woman Deborah Lilly would like to see a farmers market created next door to land that has been earmarked for development by Woolworths.
Mullumbimby’s old Telstra site, in Station Street, goes up for auction this month.
Ms Lilly believes the community should secure the land, rather than have it sold for commercial development.
“We envisage creating a permanent community market on this site, selling local produce such as fruit and vegetables,” she said.
The idea came from last weekend’s public meeting in Mullumbimby.
About 100 people turned up to hear various speakers discuss the issue of the Woolworths development and to work out strategies to oppose the plan.
Residents have now formed a Mullumbimby Community Action Group and are calling for support from the Byron Shire Council, local businesses, philanthropists and the community in order to acquire the Telstra site, which is to be auctioned on%February 22.
Ms Lilly said it could prevent Woolworths expanding its current portfolio in Mullumbimby, assuming it was to build a new supermarket in Station Street.
“If we don’t acquire the Telstra site, Woolworths might,” Ms Lilly said.
“They might place a car park there, or they might want to enlarge their image closer to town,” Ms Lilly said.
Instead, Ms Lilly said establishing a community market next to Woolworths would provide a juxtaposition of the two cultures, global and local.
“It would be like a farmers market selling local produce, not supporting huge, monoculture farming from overseas,” Ms Lilly said.
“There is a new awareness about global warming, about carbon footprint and about sustainability, and we want to capitalise that into one place.”