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Byron Shire
November 29, 2022

A beautified factory is still a factory

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Tony Hart, president, Bangalow Progress Association. 

The concern of Pam and Martin Brook, Massimo Scalas and Rebecca McEwan for Bangalow is welcomed.

Their stated intentions for the Lismore Rd Rural Industries Food Precinct site and their assurances that they will do everything possible to minimise impacts on Bangalow are respected. But one must ask why are these new ‘commitments’ only now being publicised, and by tenants and not by the actual developer?

After all, it is the developer who will determine the ultimate design, financial investment and impact on Bangalow, not the tenants. Before this development was submitted to the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel the Bangalow community was given little opportunity to influence its design and suitability.

Why must the community always be placed in the position of being perceived as negative to development when its prior involvement could potentially improve a project’s chances of local acceptance and reduce community angst?

Bangalow Progress Association did meet with the developer and some tenants, but it was after the proposal had been submitted. A lively discussion resulted in members voting against the development on the grounds that it was incompatible with the overall vision for Bangalow expressed in the recent Have Your Say Bangalow survey which is part of the town’s master-planning process.

The survey found that Bangalow’s attractiveness is its small scale, its village atmosphere, its clear village edge, its historic/heritage look and feel and its rural surroundings and views. The scale of this factory development is a significant threat to the maintenance of Bangalow’s reputation and tourist business no matter what beautification might be proposed.


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  1. Thanks to Tony Hart for his letter and I hope we have answered most queries below.

    The developer, Chase Properties, is building the Bangalow Food Collective at the request of Salumi and Brookfarm, who will have to leave Byron Shire if we cannot find a new home. We are working with Chase Properties to create a site we will all be proud of. We do not perceive the Bangalow community as negative and have had tremendous community support to date. We are doing our best to answer every query and have an open door policy.

    With respect, the Bangalow Food Collective is taking place far from town, opposite an existing Industrial Estate – we will create a beautiful site, well landscaped and screened from the road. I cannot think of a food production site that has extensive rainforest regeneration, we are raising the bar with this proposed development.

    Artisan food production will be an asset to Bangalow. The population of Bangalow has grown significantly over the last 15 years. The main street as a retail and tourism destination is an asset to Bangalow and should be treasured, but it alone cannot provide enough jobs for the families of Bangalow, we can really make a difference.

  2. I dont understand why these “local ” businesses which we are all proud of dont utilise the current industrial estates in Ballina and Lismore which are easily accessed by major highways and after all still in the Northern Rivers.
    We know how important the Byron name is in marketing but Lismore and Ballina are not that far away and I have seen Byron Burgers as far away as London so dont worry you can all still have Byron as part of your marketing.
    The suppliers to this facility have to travel through Bangalow one way or the other as well as product leaving the factories as well or are they all going to depart north and south along Lismore Road to Lismore and then all points north and south?
    Can someone tell me about the massive runoff from the huge roofs and I imagine concrete roads and parking areas? Is that going to be chanelled into the creek?

  3. Hey Brookfarm….Love your Muesli!

    As you seem to be the designated Spin Doctors for the proposed Mega Food Factories in Bangalow, could you enlighten me as to why you think it appropriate to inflict an extra 2000+ daily traffic movements in the village of Bangalow with this development?

    No matter which direction this future traffic enters Bangalow, as a resident I’ll have to deal with it as soon as I drive, ride or walk anywhere.

    With the recent upgrade to the Pacific Hwy, you can now get to Ballina in under 15 minutes. Ballina has plenty of flat Industrial Land available right next door to the Airport, which from an outsiders prospective would seem more appropriate for this large scale development.

    I’ll still buy your Muesli even if it’s not made in the Byron Shire, x


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