Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

{Councillors Say 'No' to Carpark Sale} {Relief and Anger Feelings after the Surprise Vote}; Democracy Has Prevailed Says Protestor

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

{Councillors Say 'No' to Carpark Sale} {Relief and Anger Feelings after the Surprise Vote}; Democracy Has Prevailed Says Protestor

Article excerpt

Byline: ERIN BRADY erin.brady@dailyexaminer.com.au

RESIDENTS of Maclean will wake up this morning sure of two things. The Maclean carpark is not for sale and the debate is finally over.

After months of heated debate within the community, at last night's council meeting councillors Tiley, Hughes, Dinham, Comben and Howe voted down the rescission motion that called for the carpark debate to be re-opened.

Their actions have effectively closed the door on any plans the council had to sell or lease the carpark to developers for the construction of a full sized supermarket on the site.

"I just think democracy prevailed," Bruce Apps of Maclean said following the decision.

Another Maclean resident at the meeting, Jean Everson was also pleased with the result.

"I'm very thankful that our local councillors stuck to their word from the November meeting," Mrs Everson said.

"We're third generation in Maclean and we don't want public land sold in this town."

But like all great debates, there could only be one winner.

The secretary of the Maclean Chamber of Commerce, Denise Worrill, left the meeting appalled at the result.

"I think it's ridiculous not to vote for a rescission motion and discuss the issue further," Mrs Worrill said.

"They have just condemned this town to be a dying town."

Warren Campbell, of the Argyle Hotel, said the councillors got it wrong because a lot of the community wanted the supermarket built in the carpark.

He believed the decision would close down businesses.

"History will show them that they have done the wrong thing," Mr Campbell said.

"There will be businesses sold in Maclean after this decision.

"They'll just go."

The gallery was full of supporters from both sides of the fence, some wearing t-shirts with slogans and others with signs asking for the land not to be sold.

The rescission motion had been scheduled for halfway through the agenda, but when the meeting began at 4pm Mayor Richie Williamson put it to the councillors to deal with the issue first up, and it was passed. …

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