Food & Wine

Australia's "fattest" town to receive fourth McDonald's

Australia's "fattest" town to receive fourth McDonald's

A fourth McDonald's has been given the green light to be built in Tamworth, Australia's fattest town.

Councillors voted on Tuesday night in support of the development in the town in northeast New South Wales.

The fourth fast food restaurant will be built within a 2.5km walking distance of a McDonald's in the regional city centre, 3kms away from McDonald's Tamworth West and 5.9kms from McDonald's Tamworth South.

It's expected to open late next year with an estimated construction cost of $3.34 million.

Tamworth Regional Council received 20 submissions that "indicated a level of community concern".

Some of the concerns were that Tamworth "does not need a fourth McDonald's and another McDonald's will further increase the rates of obesity in Tamworth".

The planning response stated: “Whilst noted, these concerns are not a matter for consideration in accordance with Section 4.15 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.”

“I can fully understand the concerns of the residents and hopefully the conditions will address that,” Tamworth councillor Helen Tickle told The Northern Daily Leader.

“Unfortunately we’re known as the fattest town in Australia and that’s a terrible statistic.”

On Facebook, one local said: “Another McDonald’s for Fatsville, you have to be kidding.”

Another man said: “What you put in your stomach is entirely your choice. Don’t stop employment and economic growth and development opportunities.”

As the new McDonald's site is in a general residential zone, council staff are watching it closely.

“Council staff are not yet convinced the proposed operating hours are acceptable in respect to the zoning and amenity, and therefore to enable the development to proceed it is recommended to restrict the hours of operation,” the council said.

“It is considered the development will have a positive impact upon the wider community by increasing the food and drink options for the community and for the reasons discussed throughout this report,” the business paper states.

“The key issues that relate to this application have been addressed by either a redesign or the recommended conditions of consent.

“Therefore, it is considered that approval of the application is not contrary to the public interest, subject to implementation and compliance with the conditions as proposed.”

The new McDonald's will create 220 jobs in the area, according to a McDonald's Australia spokeswoman.

“McDonald’s North Tamworth is expected to open late 2021 and will provide additional support to the local community through job creation and construction of the site,” she said.

“The restaurant will inject over $5 million into the local economy and create approximately 100 jobs during construction. Once operational, the restaurant will create a further 120 jobs for the local community.”

The spokeswoman said the fast food chain continues to review the nutritional value of its food and has been “providing choice” for more than 10 years.

“We include kilojoule labelling for all products on our menu boards, website, digital kiosks and MyMacca’s app, to allow customers to make informed choices,” she said.