16.6 C
Byron Shire
October 22, 2021

Distillery plan a recipe for disaster

Latest News

Charges laid after police pursuit at Murwillumbah

Officers from Tweed/Byron Police District have been investigating several incidents of stolen motor vehicles from within the Kingscliff area over the past month.

Other News

Comment: Court rejects challenges to vax laws

More than a million people tuned into the live stream of  Kassam v Hazzard; Henry v Hazzard via the NSW Supreme Court’s YouTube channel over the past couple of weeks, many hoping for a judgment which invalidates public health orders which mandate vaccines for certain industries, such as healthcare, aged care and construction.

Let’s get real

AFL Aussie Rules Grand Final in Western Australia... Rugby League Grand Final in Queensland... Melbourne Cup in Tasmania?    Margaret Keating,...

Cartoon of the week – 20 October, 2021

The letters deadline for The Echo is noon Friday. Letters longer than 200 words may be cut. The publication of letters is at the discretion of the letters editor.

Bio-energy vs biodiversity

I thank The Echo for so clearly informing the readers of the ongoing concerns of Byron Bird Buddies and...

Speeding traffic

In Suffolk Park there are a number of problems including getting out of Clifford Street onto Broken Head Road...

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 19 October, 2021

Check out what's on at the cinema this week in Ballina and Byron

Elizabeth Tomlinson, Middle Pocket.

I am a farmer on Middle Pocket Road. My parents were farmers and my grandparents were farmers. All my extended family were farmers. Like many, I left the Northern Rivers when I was young and did not return until last year when I purchased a working farm with Lacks Creek running the full length of the property. This property was a huge investment because of the excellent water supply with Lacks Creek being my only water source.

Our climate can be unpredictable and by the end of last year I was buying in water because we were in drought – the creek had stopped running, algae was building up in the waterways, and there was an increase in mosquitoes breeding in the stagnant water. The locals informed me it was the worst condition they had seen the creek in living memory, for 40 -50 years. If the BSC approves this Distillery (DA 10.2016.575.1) then this situation will become normal for Lacks Creek.

This distillery venture has the capacity to draw 53 million litres of water per year directly from the waterways. This will devastate the water supply to Middle Pocket and surrounding areas and if the BSC accepts this venture in the terms stated then they would be responsible for the demise of this valley and surrounding farming communities.

Middle Pocket Road is on my land – the land on which I pay substantial rates each year. I do not provide permission for trucks carrying highly flammable liquids to cross my property. We live in a bush fire zone with only one access road. A truck accident with a load of alcohol could not only destroy my life, my home and property, but this whole region.

This industrial development is not micro, but 78 times greater than the size of our local distillery. This is an industrial venture that should be located in an industrial area with the necessary safety controls and facilities. The road cannot support the regular use of heavy trucks when it is not even 3 metres wide in places.

In conclusion, prior to any acceptance of this venture it would be irresponsible of the BSC not to commission an extensive study to determine the impact of the removal of 53 million litres of water per year, the extent of the added fire risk for this community, and finally, further investigations need to done to determine the safety of Middle Pocket Road. I do not and will not agree to highly flammable dangerous goods being transported over my property.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. There are many in the community who share Elizabeth’s concerns over the proposed Distillery in Middle Pocket. Massive water use, serious traffic issues and the hazards associated with the alcohol industry will have a major impact on the community and the environment. Industrial activity like a dangerous distillery must be located in safe, monitored industrial complex (perhaps Billinudgel!) with all the appropriate fire, health and safety standards. Allowing this development in a remote, rural, heavily forested area, with only one access road is outrageous – a recipe for disaster – and Splendour festival site is not that far away.

    Council would be crazy to let this one through!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

#BigBadBiomass – protesters reject burning trees for energy

North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) and the NSW Forest Defenders have thrown their support behind the protests against the burning of Biomass to generate electricity across Australia ahead of the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP) 26.

Call to reject Evans Head Iron Gates DA over failure to recognise Indigenous heritage

Evans Head locals call for rejection of Iron Gates DA and recognition of the national significance of the site and its incorporation into the Broadwater National Park.

Chainsaw accident Ewingsdale

A 44-year-old arborist suffered a serious lower leg injury following a chainsaw accident at a Ewingsdale property yesterday.

New COVID cases in Ballina and Clarence Valley

Two new cases of COVID-19 have been reported for Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWHD) in the 24 hours to 8pm 19 October.