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Water and toilets back on at Tumbulgum farmer’s markets

Sue Yarrow has been selling fruit on the side of the road for 30 years, now council threatens her with fines to move. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Daily News
Sue Yarrow has been selling fruit on the side of the road for 30 years, now council threatens her with fines to move. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Daily News Nolan Verheij-Full

TWEED Shire Council will reinstall water and toilet facilities at the Tumbulgum farmer's market site at Tweed Valley Way after complaints about its "extremely primitive" condition.

The decision endorsed at last Thursday's council meeting, comes after roadside stall operators Mike and Sue Yarrow were recently controversially ordered by council staff to shift to this site under threat of a fine.

The couple had been selling at Col Wiley Park, Byangum for 30 years without a development application.

Council officers were required to act after receiving a complaint from the public against them.

Among the Yarrows complaints to the council over being ordered to transfer to the Tumbulgum site was the poor state of the facilities.

Their criticisms were echoed by conservative councillors Phil Youngblutt, Warren Polglase and Carolyn Byrne at last Thursday's council meeting.

Cr Youngblutt said the council had allowed the site to fall into an "extreme state of disrepair" and yet it expected people like the Yarrows to sell their produce there.

"Council did let that get into a state of disrepair and it should not have happened," he said.

It was also revealed during the debate that the council is considering moving the farmer's market to Bruce Chick Park at Stotts Island.

But Mr Yarrow said that that site was out of the way for many farmers.

He also said four areas should be gazetted in the shire for produce markets to help improve the fortunes of the shire's struggling farmers.