Chamber breakfast served with a blast

MORE than 50 Murwillumbah business people who turned up to a chamber of commerce breakfast yesterday morning copped a serving from Tweed Shire Council general manger Mike Rayner. Mr Rayner, who had not intended to speak, served out lashings of criticism over the parking habits of employers and their staff in the heart of town after being urged to respond to condemnation of council plans to sell public car-park land. Real estate agent Chris Chrisostomos told the chamber he saw "great difficulties" in the council ever replacing the car-parking land, which provides 150 unregulated parking bays. He said he did not believe any developer of the sites would continue to provide public parking. Chairperson of the Murwil- lumbah Residents Association Diana Eriksen said the Wollumbin Street car park, which is up for sale, was the "most convenient site for the next multi-level car park" which would inevitably be needed in the future. But Mr Rayner said if the business chamber felt car parking was still an issue in Murwillumbah it should talk to members and their staff who were "parking out 80 car-parking spaces" in Proudfoot Lane in the heart of town every week day. Every morning by 8am, he said, 50 cars were parked in areas along Proudfoot Lane. "By 8.50am that swells to 80 80 of the most-valuable parks in the middle of town parked out all day by employers and employees," he said. He added that a count in the Knox Park car park on Monday at 10am found 49 vacant spaces. Mr Rayner said the new three-tier parking station near the civic centre would provide 271 spaces. He said the move to sell car-park land in Wollumbin and King Streets followed a decision three years ago to consolidate the business centre of Murwillumbah rather than allow a new supermarket at South Murwillumbah, but he declined to comment%further on the sale. "I will not go into details of what might or might not happen because it's out for tender at the moment, other than say there's a lot of interest," Mr Rayner said. n.The business chamber breakfast is held on the first Tuesday of each month in the Murwillumbah Services Club from 6.45am and is open to the public. The next breakfast is on May 6, with Federal%Minister for Ageing and Richmond MP Justine Elliot the main speaker.

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