There are many varied opinions within the community of the value of large fast food chains. Some love them for the convenience and the employment opportunities they create for young people, while others loathe them because of their unhealthy food and generally poor environmental and industrial relations track records.
The residents of Rosebery however have a number of other problems with plans for a new 24 hour McDonalds opening in their suburb. Last year an application for a new outlet coupled with a Dan Murphy’s liquor store on busy Botany Rd was knocked back due to a number of concerns with the application. Chief amongst these concerns was the social problems that could be created by situating a large liquor outlet directly adjacent to fast food popular mainly with teenagers, but issues of traffic and flooding were also on the radar.
The new application does not include a liquor store on site but last week I met with a group of residents who suspected a hidden agenda. The application is not just for a McDonalds but also for a “mixed use building” on the site, the details of which are to be determined in a later application. The residents are worried that this is a backdoor way of getting the McDonalds and bottleshop together on the site.
Hidden agenda or not, there are still a number of concerns with this application. Botany Rd is a busy thoroughfare through an industrial area, with many truck movements throughout the day and night, a dangerous thing when combined with the traffic that a fast food restaurant attracts late at night – drivers who are mostly young, likely to be tired, distracted by friends or possibly even alcohol affected.
Also, while Botany Rd is in an industrial zone the site is only two blocks from the quiet residential neighbourhoods of Rosebery, a place where extra late night traffic would certainly not be appreciated.
Public submissions on the development are open until the 12th of April and you can find all the info here. I’d urge anyone concerned about this matter to write to council and have their voice heard.