Calls to ban fast food
COUNCILLOR Katie Milne has called for limitations on the influx of fast food restaurants in the Tweed shire.
The issue was raised at Tuesday's council meeting when Cr Milne highlighted the impact of fast food venues on the Tweed's image.
“They affect our iconic landscape and visual streetscape,” she said.
“They serve a very good purpose in providing jobs for young people but we have to be careful that they don't become dominant in the shire.”
The issue of litter generated by fast food venues, particularly those with drive-through facilities, was also raised by Mayor Kevin Skinner.
“I would like to see some form of fee imposed on the takeaway food operators to offset the cost of the mess generated,” Cr Skinner said.
Tweed Shire Council director of planning and regulation Vince Connell expressed his concern at the difficulty of defining the term “fast food”, warning restrictions imposed on large transnational franchises could potentially affect all takeaway food operators, including local small business.
Tracey Marsh, owner of Tracey Lees Five Star Takeaway in Tweed Heads South, understands the need for competition among food operators but believes the Tweed shire already has enough.
“I know people like variety, it's important, our customers also go to McDonald's and Hungry Jacks,” she said.
“But it also encourages obesity; there's enough of these places in the area.”
Councillor Warren Polglase suggested the use of a similar recycling incentive program to South Australia where recycled goods were collected by members of the public, who then receive a small refund.
He believed this incentive to recycle may stop the growing problem of litter surrounding fast food venues.
Council general manager Mike Rayner stressed the need for the development of policy surrounding fast food urban design, signage and disposal of waste, with the council resolving to workshop the issue at future meetings.