19.2 C
Byron Shire
October 25, 2021

Middle Pocket up in arms over proposed distillery

Latest News

Tracking the hardening coast

Researchers are watching our shorelines get harder and simpler.

Other News

No means no, say traditional owners

As Water Week draws to a close, with a theme of 'Caring for Water and Country', a group of Widjabul Wia-bal elders have emphatically said they do not want the Dunoon Dam proposal to be put back on the table by pro-dam councillors.

STP inches closer

Paul Bibby’s article ‘Ocean Shores STP (OS STP) inches closer to closure’ (6 October) raises some questions with me...

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.

NSW Education responds to Teachers Federation over Murwillumbah Education Campus staff cuts

The NSW Education Department has responded to the NSW Teachers Federation's accusation that Education Minister Sarah Mitchell has only just revealed the extent of staff cuts at the mega school.

Blowhard alert

We have endured drought, bushfires, flooding and COVID. However, Australia must brace itself for something even worse. Something that...

When is a sock not a sock?

A sock is not talked about much – it’s a simple device that is very well known. As the world...

Residents of the Middle Pocket sent a clear message to the Byron shire council on Saturday when they came out in force to oppose the distillery currently under consideration by the council. Photo supplied.
Residents of the Middle Pocket sent a clear message to the Byron shire council on Saturday when they came out in force to oppose the Lord Byron distillery currently under consideration by the council.
Photo supplied.

Saturday saw around 70 locals from the Middle Pocket come together to protest in Billinudgel against the proposed microdistillery currently being considered by Byron Shire council.

Residents said that the narrow access road, that is at points only 3m wide, is not safe for large, regular alcohol truck movements.

‘If council intended to fix the road and widen it to accommodate regular trucks and make it safe it would need to relocate at least ten of the houses as many of them sit within ten metres of the road,’ said one resident.

‘They would need to purchase a lot of property as the road meanders through private property and has low culverts.’

Serious concerns were also raised about the potential use of surface and ground water by the distillery with many households having buy in water around four times in the last year.

The property was granted an irrigation licence in November 2016 for the use of ground and surface water that adds up to 53 million litres a year. Residents understand that the licence would need to be transferred from irrigation to industrial use for Lord Byron to be able to use the water for production in the distillery.

Many of the locals who have lived in the area for 40 years or more questioned how the creek could support so much water being drawn out of it on a regular basis.

Questions were also raised regarding the extreme fire danger of the area and the regular flooding that blocks in the valley that would isolate the distillery during extreme weather conditions and potentially make residents more vulnerable during these events.

‘It is an alcohol production facility in a designated extreme fire zone,’ pointed out one resident.

Residents have told The Echo that the developer,  doesn’t currently own the land but has a two year option to purchase.

Byron Shire councillors Jeanette Martin andSarah Ndiaye attended the meeting and several locals said that they if council approved the development then they would take council to court for endangering their lives and failing to provide a safe environment. 

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. I stand with the Middle Pocket residents even though I don’t live there. All things considered it a s stupid idea and makes no sense! Why not put it in the Billinudgel industrial estate? East access to highway, use of town water etc. Now that makes sense!

  2. I would love to hear from the distillers. Has anyone sought their perspective?
    Come on Echo – Let’s have some real journalism around this story!
    I am open to the fact that it will be a nightmare for the shire on several levels but am also aware that old school locals in this area can over exaggerate and not give an inch for anyone. This project could be something incredible but we just don’t know.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recycling polystyrene just got easier at Lismore’s Recycling & Recovery Centre

The Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre has a new machine that can recycle polystyrene which will help the facility increase the capacity to deal with this earth-wrecking synthetic-aromatic-hydrocarbon-polymer.

4WDs multiplying on Seven Mile Beach?

Beach users in Lennox Head are reporting much higher numbers of 4WDs on Seven Mile Beach recently, along with an increase in hooning behaviour. Since...

Julian Assange: the name that cannot be uttered

Since the news came through I have been keeping an eye and an ear out for further reporting in the mainstream media. Needless to...

NSW – bad to worse

While Gladys has left the building and we have a new religious fanatic in the top job, things are looking very grim in the...