Mullumbimby Community Action Newsletters

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Originally published 03Jul2009



Newsletter 51 – 4 July 2009

GOOD NEWS!!! A win for the livelihoods of our locals!! See local news tonight Prime (maybe the first story) at 6 pm and NBN soon after that. See online for a week or two at (Lismore) and (Northern Rivers). Hear also ABC local radio Sat am local news 7.30 and 8.30 am and check Brisbane Sunday Mail this weekend.

Woolworths cannot start building their Big Box in Mullumbimby because our caring councillors have voted "NO" to their onsite sewer-on-a-bog. Councillors voted 6-1 to reject the s68 sewage application. Woolworths New Development boss Graeme Jones came to the meeting to ask for a deferral while they get a new onsite designer to submit new plans. Too late!!! They should"ve done that 18 months ago when our MCAN waste-water guys Duncan Dey and Garry Scott told them that sewer-on-the-bog wouldn"t work.

Unfortunately Woolworths still have the State Gov-approved supermarket plans and when the new Mullumbimby sewage treatment plant is built, they can connect to that. But they have to wait, several years at least. And the council promised to fix the leaky sewage pipes under the town before the STP is built!! However, Wws might try and get the laws changed or take our council to the Land & Environment Court. Let"s see what clout they"ll swing now.

Anyway, this is a Big Win for community. Our group has kept up the pressure and made Woolworths go back time and again to improve their sewage plans. Its funny the Department of Planning didn"t pick up the flaws in the design, and passed the buck to Byron Shire Council, who are the final authority for onsite sewage business.

Thanks to all the people who wrote letters in the last 18 months, manned the street stall, signed petitions, turned up for demos, baked cakes and bought raffle tickets. This is a people-powered revolution in consciousness!

We don"t need an oil-guzzling Big Box while we have local shops. "Small business is the backbone of community" said Treasurer Wayne Swann in his budget speech. Long may Mullum"s backbone thrive and survive, as well as our unique heritage character.

I want to acknowledge the Maleny warriors who inspired us to resist the corporatisation of our town in the first place. They put up a brilliant fight, and lost to Woolworths who promised to sell them the land if they raised $2m. The community raised that in a week and then Woolworths decided not to sell after all. They then went ahead and shafted the concrete pylons into Penelope Playpus"s playground, Obi Obi Creek. See for archives.

See also for review of Helena Norberg-Hodge"s new film "The Economics of Happiness". Here we can see parallel impacts of "development" (read globalization) as well as localization initiatives that are working around the world. A timely and inspiring film.

Congratulations too to the local Sustainable Food projects happening locally. Unfortunately the Telstra site has been let out to some engineers at $800 per week so that won"t be the site of our local market. Watch this space!


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