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People power only way to stop fast-food store

THE recent announcement of another major fast food restaurant in Springfield has left a bad taste in the mouths of residents.

In a Greater Springfield Facebook post earlier this week it was revealed a new McDonald's restaurant would be opening as part of a new development near Nev Smith Drive in Springfield, making it the fourth restaurant for the area.

The backlash to the announcement was overwhelming with more than 200 people commenting on the post, the majority opposed to the idea.

There were also calls for the Ipswich City Council to intervene, but Councillor David Morrison said it wasn't up to the council to decide who could or couldn't open a restaurant.

"Anybody who owns a parcel of land can put a development application into the council and from there it's our responsibility to assess that application based on its merits and whether it fits into the zoning of the city plan," Cr Morrison said.

"If it's something outside the plan, people can put in a written submission to say whether or not they are supportive of it, which is then evaluated by the council planner.

 

Councillor David Morrison.
Councillor David Morrison. Inga Williams

"It's not up to the council to say we're not going to have another McDonald's, that's up to the applicant.

"It's like if there were a row of shops with one fruit and vegetable shop and then another fruit and vegetable shop wanted to open up next door- the council can't stop that from happening if it abides by the health and planning codes."

Many of the comments referred to the obesity issue in the Ipswich area which has seen the city score one of the highest rates of obesity in the country over the past few years.

Councillor Morrison said while he understood that argument, he said people had a choice to not support the restaurant and ultimately the market would decide if the restaurant would survive.

"I understand the obesity argument, but if more people went to McDonald's and ordered their healthy food, their menu would change," Cr Morrison said.

"It comes down to choice and McDonald's over the years has transformed its menu because the market was demanding it, so if more people asked for healthy food, that would be the best way for people to change things.

"They could also just not be supportive of it and not purchase anything there which would mean it couldn't continue to operate."

The proposed development is said to have plans for a new 7-Eleven store, a service station and an area for residential town houses. Both McDonald's and Springfield Land Corporation have been contacted for comment.

Topics:  facebook fast food restaurant greater springfield mcdonald's springfield



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