Signs were stolen and safety fencing knocked down at the site of the new Woolworths supermarket in Mullumbimby.
Signs were stolen and safety fencing knocked down at the site of the new Woolworths supermarket in Mullumbimby. Digby Hildreth

Vandalism at Woolies site

TWO ‘road closed' signs were stolen, others moved and safety fencing knocked over at the edge of the Woolworths site in Mullumbimby on Thursday night.

Police said they were not‘categorically linking' the incident with the ongoing protest against the giant retailer'sentry into the town and that it could be a random act.

However, the theft and vandalism come just days after a group of Mullumbimby residents gathered for a ‘rage against the cage' demonstration at the site at the weekend.

Cage is the name of the company providing the fencing and provides a handy metaphor for those objecting to the development.

“This cage is the first step in the construction process of Woolworths' unwanted supermarket in Mullumbimby,” said a statement on the Mullumbimby Community Action Network's website.

The group's co-ordinator, Deborah Lilly, said the group was ‘absolutely opposed' to any vandalism.

“I understand people getting upset (with the development), but we do not condone any damage to property,” Ms Lilly said.

Woolworths' community relations manager, Simon Berger, said: “It's disappointing that this has occurred. The signs are there for a good reason.

“We are obliged to inform the police, but otherwise we will just get on with it.”

Work continued uninterrupted yesterday, as heavy graders and diggers prepared the site.

Opposite the works entrance in Station Street, resident Ralph Nichols said the supermarket would be a good thing for Mullumbimby.

Homes had been flooded in the street during storms in the past, but the drains being laid as part of the development would prevent that in the future, Mr Nichols said.

“We will also get pavements and guttering outside our homes,” he said.

“It's bound to put value on to the houses here.

“This is good for Mullum. The town was dead, now it can only get bigger,” said Mr Nichols, who was born in Mullum 64 years ago and has lived in Station Street for 10 years.

Meanwhile, Woolworths has called for public submissions on a bottleshop at the new store.

The State liquor authority must assess the impact that aliquor outlet might have on the community before it will grant a licence.



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