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Complaint shuts Tweed road fruit stall after 30 years

Sue Yarrow has been selling fruit on the side of the road for 30 years.
Sue Yarrow has been selling fruit on the side of the road for 30 years. Nolan Verheij-Full

THREE decades of selling mangoes by the roadside at Col Wiley Park, Byangum, came to an abrupt end for local farmers Mike and Sue Yarrow three weeks ago.

Tweed Shire Council officers threatened to fine them if they returned and advised them to go to Tumbulgum Farmers' Market instead.

While the Yarrows didn't have a permit to sell at the site, their lawyer believes that trading at the location during mango season for that long constitutes constructive consent.

The move has angered not only the couple, but their regular customers.

A petition opposing the crackdown has so far attracted 400 signatures.

The Yarrows said they later learnt the council action was due to a single complaint from an unidentified Uki resident.

Councillors Warren Polglase and Phil Youngblutt have taken up the cause of roadside sellers, with a shake-up likely.

Councillors were due to take part in a workshop on the issue on Thursday, with Cr Polglase confident they would be able to work out a licensing system under a new planning regime that comes into force later this month.

Cr Polglase said roadside sellers should be encouraged, as they were a Tweed attraction and also an important source of income for farmers.

He said historically few roadside sellers obtained permits as they generally only sold for a few weeks a year during their produce's season.

"It's an important survival tool for farmers," he said.

"We should be encouraging this character for the Tweed."

Another regular seller on the outskirts of Murwillumbah was also shut down recently following a complaint.

Topics:  fruit tweed shire council