A letter from Forster resident Jan Pitney has divided the community on the question of whether or not McDonald’s should be open 24/7.
In her letter, Jan said there had been a significant increase in theft and destruction of private property in the immediate area around the fast food restaurant, since it started opening 24/7 on weekends and in the holidays.
Todd Crompton commented that council’s opening hours restrictions were holding back the town’s progression.
“Forster Tuncurry used to have a great night life back in the day, with Mikonos and the Ant Ranch, and it’s the same scenario, the public complains until they get what they want and the council intervenes,” he said.
“They start making restrictions on opening times and so forth, the problems of today have only come about due to the lobbyists and petitioners that stood up years ago and screamed child abuse and took away parental rights, to be able to punish our children for doing something wrong.
“Yet, it’s them same lobbyists that carry on about children being out of control today.
“My thoughts on it all is if there is a huge group in one place like this, doesn’t that make it easier for policing?
“Forster Tuncurry is no longer the retirement village that the council has tried for so long to keep it this way, but reality people the population is growing, families live here with children, want less break ins?
“Bring back the nightlife and give people something to do in the town and problem will be solved, and the town might actually progress.”
Matthew Bell commented that Forster’s unofficial slogan should be 'The town that dreaded sundown'.
“Come 10pm Forster becomes a ghost town,” he added.
Mel Montgomerie said that the town needed to wake up.
“So because the police can't control these kids or discipline them, maccas should be punished?” she asked.
“This town needs these businesses and others to open longer to make money to survive.
“It also provides people in the local area with jobs! We need to be moving forward not backwards.
“People need to realise this isn't a retirement village anymore, more and more families are moving here and the town needs to provide for them to keep them here and keep businesses thriving.”
Leah Taylor said the varied opening hours were very convenient for some people.
“I work early mornings and I'd love to grab a bite to eat sometimes,” she said.
“The older generation really need to get with the times. A little trouble can happen anywhere.”
“Its 2018!! Like seriously come on,” Alicia Anne said.
“We are moving slowly forward enough because of everyone that complains about everything the town does to help the younger generation.. You need to get over it!!
“Having maccas on 24/7 is a great idea, what if your a shift worker and wanna grab a bite on your way home? Or if you have just arrived in town and feeling hungry! Let’s get maccas!! Some people do use maccas as a way of sobering up after the clubs. Wake up and let this town move forward...”
“I agree with you but omg the fights and screams coming from Baronia Park after midnight are so funny I have a clear view and a amplified sound at my house,” Jodie Fox replied.
Peter Howard said he thought the town could do with a 24 hour service station.
“But I’m sure the local operators have run the numbers and it doesn’t make financial sense to them otherwise one of them would have done it by now,” he added.
“Aside from summer, Forster Tuncurry really doesn’t have the population, specifically the younger population, to warrant a place staying open 24 hours a day.”
“Good luck with that,” Jonathan Sleiman said.
“Been trying for five years they won't let me open.”
Roxanne Marks said she has been holidaying in Forster for 27 years.
“What amazes me is that at peak season everything shuts!” she said.
“Seriously, make the most with a high volume of tourist in town. The council need to move with the times.”
Lynn Nadjarian suggested that people go and live in Sydney if they don’t like it here.
“Get real, 80 per cent who live here are over 65. If you crave coffee at 2am get a coffee machine! It’s not on the freeway!”
Todd Crompton disagreed, saying Forster is 60 per cent families and around 40 per cent elderly.
“There is two full primary schools and two full high schools, how big do u think the population is in Forster?” he asked.
Graham Robinson suggested that the new opening hours should be trialed outside of peak season.
“That will then see if it locals or visitors,” he said.
“If you incorporate the fact that Christmas period is usually a higher alcohol consumption period it might explain the behavior.
“Also it is something new so it is going to be popular. It's a novelty to be able to go to any place other than a pub which is open past 9.
“Once the lights come on it seems this town becomes a ghost town. Not saying it's a bad thing but to have something like a 24 hour McDonald's is good.
“We left at 2am for a holiday and I was able to get a coffee for the trip. So before we say close it down why not actually stop and evaluate pros and cons. Think of the extra hours of labour this town now has due to it.”
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