Byron mayor hits streets for anti-KFC petition signatures
BYRON Shire's Greens mayor Simon Richardson returned to his activist roots this week touting for signatures on an anti-KFC petition at the Byron Bay Markets.
And the Mayor, whose long history as an environmental campaigner includes the successful No Maccin Way anti-McDonald's protests of the 1990s, was doing a brisk trade with shoppers keen to indicate their opposition to the international fast-food giant.
The campaign to block KFC from the town is heating up, with dozens of petitions doing the rounds in businesses and in booths set up on the main street.
Revelations in the KFC DA which went on display this month that the applicants want to chop down a tree to erect an 8.5m high illuminated KFC sign on Jonson St has only galvanised its opponents.
"At least the tree's not old-growth," quipped Cr Richardson.
But KFC's bid to move in near Woolworths, which is the talk of the town, is leaving a bad taste in the mouth of the fast-food giant's local supporters.
Suffolk Park businessman Robert Sampimon says he eats at KFC "hardly ever", but: "There's bigger chickens to fry; we should focus on things that cause real hardship in Byron."
Mr Sampimon said there were three types of people in Byron - those like the Greens who were against everything; a pragmatic group in the middle in favour of tasteful development like himself, and those on the far right who supported open slather development.
"The Mayor is a Greenie. Tell him to build a bypass road. There's bigger issues in Byron he has to deal with," he said.
Tradesman Russell Krampe says the town lacks a cheap restaurant for families.
"I imagine they will employ 20 to 30 local kids," Mr Krampe posted on the KeepByronFreeFromKFC Facebook page set up by the Mayor and youth worker Nicqui Yazdi.
"It's hard to find a feed for less than 10 bucks in Byron.
"And on the unhealthy issue, what about Earth and Sea, Ozigo, all the kebab shops, ice cream and bakeries?
"You know it's shit so you only eat it once a month, max.
"As a tradesman who works in Byron every day I would wholeheartedly welcome them."