RESIDENTS say Woolworths should not be allowed to put a bottle shop next to Mount Hutton public school.
Mount Hutton Public School P&C president Paula Greentree said yesterday that Mount Hutton and surrounding suburbs had enough liquor outlets without a BWS outlet in their small suburban shopping centre.
‘‘I’d like to ask the chief executive officer of Woolworths if his children have a bottle shop 20 or 30 metres from their school gate and I bet the answer is no,’’ Mrs Greentree said.
About 40 people gathered in Mullington Park yesterday to press their case with NSW Greens MLC John Kaye.
Dr Kaye said having a street-front bottle shop a few doors down from the school would expose students to drunken behaviour and contribute to increased assault rates in the area.
‘‘The evidence is clear,’’ Dr Kaye said. ‘‘International studies show that increasing the density of bottle shops is a key contributor to increasing rates of assault.
‘‘With 14 packaged liquor outlets within a five-kilometre range of the proposed BWS outlet in Dunkley Parade, Woolworths is prepared to sacrifice community safety and the welfare of the little kids in its competition with the nearby Aldi store.’’
Dr Kaye said the Greens were calling on Lake Macquarie City Council to oppose the application.
Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell attended the rally and called on the developer to ‘‘reconsider’’.
The Newcastle Herald was unable to obtain comment from Woolworths.