Paul takes Mullumbimby to the metropolis

Paul Medeiros who appeared on the SBS program Insight on Tuesday, telling how it was for the small business owner when Woolworths plans to comes to town.
Paul Medeiros who appeared on the SBS program Insight on Tuesday, telling how it was for the small business owner when Woolworths plans to comes to town.

Mullumbimby met the metropolis this week when Paul Medeiros, owner of Eden's Landing, flew to Sydney courtesy of SBS Television where he was invited to be part of the forum discussion program, Insight on Tuesday night.

And in fact, the cameras were in town beforehand, filming the promotion that screened on SBS that featured Paul in Mullumbimby, a town where small business owners like him are faced with the possibility of Woolworths coming in to build a large supermarket.

Paul took part in the episode, 'The Retail Landscape', where he was asked to give the small retailer's perspective.

And although Paul was ever so slightly nervous at the thought of representing his supporters in front of potentially thousands of viewers, he said it was “a good nervous”.

“I think it will be great to get out there and speak for everyone I feel I represent,” he said before heading off to Sydney, “and I'm just hoping I can do a good job of it.”

The SBS crew asked Paul some questions when they were here filming, but apart from that, they did not give him any indication of what kind of questions might be directed his way by program host Jenny Brockie.

“I get the feeling that they are interested in asking about the benefits of shopping in a village-type community, versus shopping in Woolworths,” said Paul.

“The main thing will be a focus on how their coming to town affects my business - are you scared of competition?” said Paul.

“But for me it's not about that because I have enough competition as it is.

“For me it's about sustainable development, about making sure the right people come to town, not people who don't care how the community will be affected.

“I'm not against development - if the supermarket was owned by a local guy, that would be a bonus because the money stays in the community.

“I'm able to make this stand because I've done the research, looking into what Woolworths has done.

“I feel strongly that, of the people saying we want Woolworths to come to town, if even 50% of them looked into their practices, they would surely change their mind.”

But while the information is all there for those who care to do the research, according to Paul, there is still something that is beyond the facts of predatory pricing practices, of driving farmers and small primary producers out of business, of money leaching out of the community, of job losses and massive contribution to greenhouse gases as a result of the trucking-from-afar system.

“What we offer is a complete shopping experience,” said Paul, looking with pride at his rosy red, yellow and orange spray-free mini capsicums grown locally, and pausing to joke with a regular, “and customers are always telling me it feels so nice to be in here.”

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