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January 29, 2022

RMS leaves Macadamia Castle in limbo

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In Limbo: Macadamia Castle owner Tony Gilding. Photo Eve Jeffery
In Limbo: Macadamia Castle owner Tony Gilding. Photo Eve Jeffery

Eve Jeffery

Knockrow’s Macadamia Castle is about to fall off the radar as the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) prepares to open the new section of the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale Pacific Highway upgrade.

Castle owner Tony Gilding is fighting to get the tourist attraction back on the map but says he is getting no joy from the RMS. Mr Gilding says that he is not getting any sort of useful response to his concerns and he has sent a long list of questions to RMS project director Bob Higgins.


‘Our worst nightmare will be when the upgrade opens and none of the signs will be there’, says Tony, who is very distressed about the possibility of his business literally disappearing.

‘We need some response from the RMS. The local member [Don Page] could be trying harder to force the RMS to treat the residents and businesses with a bit more respect and reply to their letters.

‘The RMS is accountable to the people of NSW and the local MP is an elected representative.’

Tony says he has had multiple conversations with the RMS but has had no written resolutions. ‘Until it’s in writing we can’t be sure that they are going to do what they have indicated they are going to do.’

Gilding also says that the Castle does not have a new address allocated to it for when the old address becomes defunct.

‘We print our brochures a year in advance. We need a street address!

‘We can’t print our brochures unless we know what the signage is going to say. We don’t know how to tell people how to find us.’
RMS responds

Roads and Maritime say they been working with the owner of the Macadamia Castle for more than three years as part of a business signage strategy focus group for the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale Pacific Highway upgrade.

‘There has been ongoing consultation and discussions with various community groups about the plan between 2012 and 2014, including with Mr Gilding’, said an RMS spokesperson. ‘The project team has met with Mr Gilding many times to address and finalise his issues with signage.

‘The signage plan will be finalised before the project opens to traffic, which is expected in the second half of 2015, weather permitting.’

Tony says he feels that there is an enormous amount of power at one desk at the RMS. ‘We feel there is a bottleneck which is ultimately affecting our plan to deal with the highway. A signage plan is a very important part of the process and it hasn’t been given any sort of priority.’

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  1. When you consider that the RMS has decided by its choice of route to make local koalas extinct, it is not surprising that they don’t care about local businesses either. Building roads is like building empires: you’d better not get in the way because RMS executives drunk with power don’t give a rat’s arse who gets hurt.

  2. We note the RMS response that

    “The signage plan will be finalised before the project opens to traffic, which is expected in the second half of 2015, weather permitting”

    They have not however committed to actually having the signage in place.

    It doesn’t seem unreasonable after 7 years of planning for the RMS to publish their plan now and commit to having it in place before the opening.

    I would respectfully request our local member Don Page advocate more strongly on behalf of local job providers like me who are just trying to understand the impact and plan for it.

  3. Well I am surprised; the Crystal Castle has signs everywhere in Byron Shire directing people to their Shop and Gardens. Who footed the bill for those?
    I note also with your unique Solar Installation that perhaps you could use that as an extra attraction for your Tourist Facility?
    I can see that your car park seems to be overflowing most times I drive by, perhaps that also needs to be pointed out to the Roads authority. There needs to be some sort of commitment from them to supply a sign, it is the least that they can do and I imagine for them a relatively small outlay.


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