Where now for Murwillumbah?

By PETER CATON

SHOULD Murwillumbah cash in on its historic charm or should it be a modern com- mercial centre? That's the question sparked by heritage architect Gary Fi- dler who has claimed the town is becoming an historic place. Mr Fidler said the town should slowly begin to follow the lead of historic European villages which have banned cars from the town heart and encourage people to walk from perimeter carparks. Local historian Ron Johan- sen said while Murwillumbah had considerable history it was getting new buildings in the retail hub all the time. "I don't know if it will be historic in the future or not," he said. "We are getting new build- ings in the shopping centre

and Woolworths and others are trying to come in. "As far as walking into an historic village it might be all right over there (Europe) but here normally we get that much rainfall. "Rain is our biggest prob- lem here with parking out of town."

Murwillumbah and District Business Chamber director Steve Abram, who runs the Buzz Bar music shop and gets around town on a scooter (the foot propelled-type), agrees with Mr Fidler. "Being from Chester in the UK, where they do that and it works very well, I'm in favour of perimeter parking," he said. "Unfortunately lack of plan- ning four to five years ago has got us where we are to- day. "There are so many black and white photos in our hotels that show our history. It could be a good tourist selling point to future proof the town." Chairperson of the Murwil- lumbah Residents Association Louise O'Shea said it was time local people discussed what they wanted for the town so a strategic plan for its future could be drawn up.



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