Ty Mason (left) with protest coordinator Deborah Lilly, on the streets of Mullumbimby.
Ty Mason (left) with protest coordinator Deborah Lilly, on the streets of Mullumbimby.

Anti-Woolies protest goes online

THE fight to stop Woolworths opening a store in Mullumbimby is going global with help from a student film-maker.

Twenty-year-old Ty Mason, a bachelor of digital arts student from Canberra's Australian National University, is from Mullumbimby and took up the local cause after a request from his parents, who are part of Mullum's Community Action Network (MCAN).

His 30-minute documentary will be posted on the action network's website, and on YouTube for maximum exposure.

Over the weekend, Ty took to the streets of his home town to film people's reactions to a supermarket chain's development application to build a store in Station Street.

"I'm really glad I'm making a film about something I'm so passionate about," Ty said.

"I want to make a film that's as entertaining and informative as possible about an important topic that has worldwide implications.

"I'm concerned about how Woolworths is moving into smaller centres. I'm not a big fan of its predatory pricing policies. They should stay in the big cities where there isn't the option of locally-grown food," he said.

Ty said the people he was speaking to on the street had a negative reaction to the Woolworths proposal.

"They've had a very negative reaction. Today you can see lots of people on the street wearing the 'I won't shop at Woolworths' stickers. People are saying they will only support a food store with organics and locally-grown foods."

Ty said there was no support for a supermarket chain that sourced its food from outside the area, particularly overseas.

"We don't want a concrete, generic world, we want diversity and local colour."

MCAN co-ordinator Deborah Lilly said she believed Mullumbimby had a fighting chance to stop Woolworths moving into town.

"And if the worst happens, we're urging people to boycott Woolworths. The supermarket chain moved into Maleny not that long ago and locals have been effectively boycotting it since," she said.

MCAN's Katrina Shields agreed.

"People simply don't want to shop at a place that doesn't stock local products," she said.

Opponents of Woolworths have declined the supermarket's offer to discuss its plans at a public forum.


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