Monday, July 12, 2010


In order for Woolworths to open a bottleshop at their upcoming Big Box in Station Street,a Community Impact Statement must be completed, by law. They have employed Back Schwartz Vaughan (who describe themselves as the "NSW Liquor Licensing Specialists") to gather submissions and of course these solicitors' online survey questions are skewed to get the answers their clients, Woolworths, want. There is even a question about how Woolworths Liquor Shop might benefit the community.

An alternative way of submitting your comments is to send them direct to the government authority at: NSW Casino Liquor & Gaming Control Authority, 6/323 Castlereagh Street, GPO Box 7060, Sydney 2001 Fax: (02) 9299 7427. Their email is although they do ask for a hard copy.

Another way is to make a submission is to download the sample letter from our website or just take from it the points which are pertinent to you. Copies of the letter are also at Santos, Edens Landing and there will be a stall at the Farmers Market each Friday (in the cafe area)until the submission period ends on 26 July.

If you want to wade thru the solicitors stuff or view their survey, go to and follow the links under CIS, and scroll down. For additional (Woolworths) information go to scroll down to "Mullumbimby" click and enter password "BSV2406". I wonder how many of those other liquor applications listed are for Woolworths booze outlets - probably Nambucca Heads and Ulladulla are.

My personal view is that to put an Liquor Shop right next to the supermarket (in a quiet residential area, 150m from Mullum Public School) is creating a norm that buying booze is just like going to get a loaf of bread and a bottle of milk. Since norms are ways of describing what acceptable behaviour is, they reflect assumptions people make about themselves, one another and how things "ought to be". Does this mean, by extension, that alcohol-fuelled domestic violence, crime and anti-social behaviour as well as drink driving and drink walking are to be come norms in Station Street?


These ugly barricades have been up for six weeks now, and no work has been started. The roads have been blocked off which means that residents, fire engines, ambulance or other emergency services don't have access into Station Street residences. This may be illegal. I have heard stories of cage road rage and some very upset people. Please write (or call) the Echo, or Byron Shire Council if you are suffering as a result of the cage.


Who benefits from compulsory income management, currently part of the NT Intervention? Woolworths and Coles, of course! Why? Because Centrelink welfare recipients have half their income quarantined to the Basics Card which can only be used in Woolworths and Coles (and few other shops). ABC's The National Interest radio programme stated that now income management may be rolled out to non-indigenous communities in the NT and other disadvantaged communities around Australia.
Listen online or get transcript from ABC"s National Interest on 18th and 25th June at


"Towards Energy Self-Sufficiency" Hosted by Mick O"Regan; various prominent speakers and information tables from local groups.
Bangalow A & I Hall – Sunday 1st August – 9.30 – 1 pm
Bangalow Climate Activist Group: Green Coast Catalysts
For further information, contact Green Coast Catalysts" Chris Sanderson on (02) 6687 2244, or Don Page"s office on (02) 6686-7522.


Working for better political representation in the Northern Rivers
Media Launch of "Community Voice" will take place on Friday 16 July 11 am at boat ramp on Kennedy Drive, Tweed Heads, opp Scales Fish and chippery.
Lifts available.


Having recently beaten Byron Bay as No 1 top tourist spot, poor ole Yamba is now threatened with a bloomin McDonalds on a massive scale. For more info contact: nomaccas4yamba(@) or call bob at 0434 857 873. Yamba is also going to get its first farmers market scheduled in with the Yamba Fringe Festival http:// on Saturday 21st August, with regular farmers market coming up.


I went to a 2-day gathering in Brisbane recently, welcoming members of "La Via Campesina" (a world-wide social movement of peasant farmers) representatives of which had come from Japan, Indonesia, Timor Leste and South Korea. The event "Food Sovereignty thru Farmer Solidarity" was organised by FoodConnect in Brisbane, who connect organic farmers with people who want to receive a box of veges each week. Wonderful place, wonderful people! http:// http://( More on Via Campesina in next newsletter – some info about the anti-globalisation movement is at:

In a foreword to "La Via Campesina – Globalisation and the Power of Peasants" book by Annette Aurelie Desmarais, Waldon Bello says that "La Via Campesina"s vision of agriculturally rich and diverse societies based on the principle of food sovereignty is a future that is not only worth fighting for, but also one that may be our only way out of the massive social and ecological predicaments spawned by corporate-driven globalisation".

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Of course big companies upturn small towns and their communities!

Posted by Leigh Blackall at 3/30/2010
from his blog:

On Radio National's Australia Talks tonight was a discussion and talk back session on the issue of the big chain supermarket Woolworths setting up in the iconic small town Mullumbimby. I tried to get through with my phone call, but like most people I guess, was left out and relegated to a very slowly moderated online forum. So here's my post here, just in case the ABC moderator has gone home for the night (as it seems she has).

Disappointed at the set up of the discussion. Of course Woolworths and mega businesses like them disrupt the local economy. Transport, parking, foot traffic, consumer demand, the market, even the culture of the people in a place is affected by Woolworths inevitable presence and their standardised business practice.

And surely we can see that offering young people a minimum wage simply assists Woolworths to be accepted in the community over a generation of branding awareness.. giving kids a skewed view of what employment means to a massive company they will never meet the owners of, be treated as human resource, as a precarious casual or part timer.. little wonder kids have difficulty developing an understanding their place and responsibility in community and society.

So I'm disappointed that the discussion questioned the impact of Woolworths and the whether it is negative. Of course it is!

But Woolworth's success in changing the culture and market in Australia is done. It is inevitable that they, and companies like them are coming to your town. So I hope more towns will work with that relentless energy and turn it to their favour. Suggests Product or Brand Displacement, where the company's presence is seemingly invisable in the community. No logo, no standardised employment or shopping experience.

How about a genuine effort on the part of Woolworths with its vast resources? Create a business that addresses these and many more concerns for the community with real sensitivity, that works into existing businesses, making themselves invisible, enhancing rather than competing, taking responsibility for the impacts they will have, rather than spinning it into a thing we apparently need or want - we don't.