People power win: Wang servo scrapped

WANGARATTA campaigners have won their fight against a 24-hour Safeway service station planned near a school.

Woolworths yesterday announced they would withdraw their planning application to council.

The decision has been heralded as a victory for regional communities, after thousands of residents protested against the move and boycotted the supermarket giant.

HOW DID THEY DO IT?:Click here to relive the protest.

Protest organiser Simon Quilty yesterday thanked Woolworths for listening and declared the boycott over.

The St Patrick’s Primary School board member said he and other parents would now be happy to work with the company to find a more suitable location for development.

He said there were concerns the service station would endanger young children at the school and create increased traffic flow and congestion.

“There was a feeling that executives in Melbourne and Sydney were trying to make a decision about rural Australia,” Mr Quilty said.

“There was a feeling this was our town and our community and we knew what’s best for it.”

A spokeswoman from Woolworths said they remained committed to bringing their petrol discount docket scheme to Wangaratta, but acknowledged their proposal had been the source of much community concern.

“Woolworths has always appreciated the support Wangaratta has given us and we do not take that for granted,” she said.

“In that spirit, we have decided to withdraw the current application for a petrol station on Ryley Street and look further into other options.”

Campaigner Lucy Bett was yesterday in shock at the supermarket’s announcement, saying it was a win that would have ripple effects.

“I think it’s a win not just for Wangaratta, but regional communities,” she said.

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