Bert gives customers a sign
BERT ELLIOTT knew he was doing the wrong thing when he had fake road signs made to point people towards his store, Summerland Antiques, in West Ballina.
But he's desperate.
"Ever since the bypass, business has more than halved," he said.
"I just can't stand by and let this happen.
"With the new (Teven Rd) roundabout, people can't even find us any more; they have no idea how to get here.
"So I paid over $1000 to get some signs made up so that our customers could very clearly see where to turn off. They weren't approved, but we had to do something for the business."
But this week his signs were taken down.
As a "direct result", Mr Elliott says, business has plummeted.
"This is a major tourist destination," he said.
"The council should be helping us bring these people to Ballina, not trying to hinder us.
"But they have never looked after the Smith Dr area; it's the southern gateway to town and it just looks shocking."
Ballina Shire Council's regulatory services group manager, Rod Willis, confirmed council staff took down the signs.
"These were not the only unapproved signs that were taken down," he said.
"Council has been doing a clean-up, particularly of signs on the Pacific Highway and signs that have been put on road signs without approval.
"When signs are attached to road regulatory signs it affects the clarity of those signs.
"There are various ways to get approval for signs for commercial premises, but there are planning restrictions."
Mr Willis said Mr Elliott's signs had been impounded.
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