By HUGH KEARNEY
FORMER Tweed Shire councillor Phil Youngblutt claims he is being singled out for having illegal signs at his fruit stall on the Tweed Valley Way south of Murwillumbah.
Mr Youngblutt yesterday agreed to remove a number of roadside signs advertising his legal stall under threat of a $600 fine from Tweed council.
But the former councillor is not happy that while his stall was forced to comply with stringent regulations when it was reestablished two years ago, other illegal stalls are flourishing all over the Tweed.
"I don't mind sticking to the law as long as everybody else does, too," Mr Youngblutt said.
"There are only three legal stalls in the whole shire - mine, Guineas and Crystal Creek - yet you can see stalls cropping up everywhere. It cost me at the very least $40,000 to comply with the law, but if I didn't have the illegal signs, I wouldn't be able to stay open."
"But surely all the signs at the illegal stalls must be illegal, because you have to have a DA for every sign."
Mr Youngblutt said he was allowed by law to have just three signs, but needed the extra signs to remain viable.
Mr Youngblutt said he was certain council passed a motion when he was serving which outlawed several stalls.
But nothing, he said, had been done about enforcing the decision.
He said the Farmers' Market, in an area just off the Tweed Valley Way and adjacent to the river at Tumbulgum was originally established to cater for those illegal stalls so they could sell their produce.
"I know of several illegal stalls which sell three times as much as I do because they are close to the road," he said.
"But I was forced to shut for 12 months and move my operation way back off the road to become legal, and at great cost."
Mr Youngblutt said to be successful, a roadside stall had to be close to the road because motorists were reluctant to drive even a small distance off the road.