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Byron Shire
May 14, 2021

What legacy does Bangalow deserve?

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Simon Field, Bangalow

I am a resident of Bangalow shuddering at the thought of a $36 million factory development which will change our town and community forever. I feel compelled to raise the questions;

Do the prospective tenants noted in the development application (DA) – Brookfarm, Byron Bay Cookie Co, Salumi, and the Ginger Necktar Company – feel they have a social licence for this industrial development and what legacy are they looking to leave?

These are great businesses which I admire and support. Their success appears closely integrated with Byron shire’s environmental and community spirit and the ‘Byron Bay’ brand. I wonder if they are aware of the deep-rooted community concern towards the carving of major industrial buildings into rural farm land, threatening endangered species, and forcing high volumes of traffic through a heritage town.

Does this development really fit their brand aspirations and core business values?

I urge the prospective tenants to stand back and consider the pristine location. The rolling fields represent important farm land next to a buoyant, heritage, family focused village. The factories will be segregated from their main transportation link (the M1) by our school, our local businesses who relying on our peaceful heritage amenity, and our hundreds of homes inhabited by people who have settled and created fulfilling lives in Bangalow.

The original plan was valued at a mere $23m, it is now valued at over $36m. There is no amount of solar panels, green washed fencing or promise of new trees which can disguise such immense industrial buildings or hide the increased volumes of rumbling trucks and cars.

Since the initial DA in 2016 it appears council and state agencies all have expressed significant concern that the DA and reports were inadequate. The land zoning is rural, there is no comprehensive assessment of the traffic impact on the centre of Bangalow, nor any decent ecological assessment on the impact on native and threatened species including Koalas.

A Change.Org petition was started up opposing this development, this is now verging on 800 signatures and growing, plus another ‘paper’ petition signed with over 1000 signatures.

The prospective tenants are in a position to make great decisions which effect many people. I encourage these businesses to place themselves as a member of our community with a true environmental and social conscience. I ask them to think why are they in the Byron shire, and broaden their view away from just business growth to consider the families and people who call Bangalow home, and who aspire to work and raise children in a safe supportive environment, one closely connected to the rural community. In this crazy world, surely it’s our responsibility to foster and protect such positive social ideals.

What are we teaching the next generation when we say it’s OK to build such large industrial buildings on farm land, when money is more important than unique ecology and protected wildlife, when encouraging major traffic through a humble heritage town is reasonable?

Together, as a community, council and business leaders, can’t we find a better narrative to inspire our children?


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6 COMMENTS

  1. Well said Simon I couldn’t agree more !

    The NSW Planning and Environment department recently released the North Coast Regional Plan.
    In the Byron Shire Economy and Employment section they state their priorities including….

    ” Protect important farmland at Eureka, Federal, Bangalow, Goonengerry, Coorabell, Tyagarah, Mullumbimby, Nashua and Billinudgel to support the agribusiness sector. ”

    A comparison is Ballina Shire where under Regional Priorities and Economy and employment they include….

    ” Enable opportunities for strategic identification of freight facilities, warehousing and distribution centres, and encourage clustering of associated industries given its advantageous location at the junction of the Pacific and Bruxner highways.
    Maximise opportunities associated with growth in South East Queensland and the increased connectivity provided by the upgraded Pacific Highway and digital technology.
    Maximise the opportunities associated with the growth of the Southern Cross Industrial Precinct to deliver jobs. ”

    Surely its a No Brainer where this massive Food Factory Precinct would be welcomed and should be located…. just 15 minutes down the Pacific Highway from Bangalow.

    • Two fantastic letters Simon and Save Our Farms. Have these letters been submitted to Council? Council really needs read your letters!

  2. Well Simon you have certainly rolled out all the typical clichés for this one. I think its important though to provide some balance and accuracy with regards to your letter and while I respect your passion for the cause, I trust you may not respect that there are a large majority more in favour of this development.

    Social license – is not a criterion for the DA

    Legacy – jobs, family wealth creation, further regional investment

    Deep rooted concerns – the figures you provide equate to less than 40% of the population are against this development

    Byron bay brand – tourist cesspool mixed with self-interest sky fairies, drug addicts and long term wont workers

    Traffic through town – no it will go around town

    Rural farm land – no it’s a cow paddock. Most farm land around here is not utilised for any commercial purposes. Maccas excepted.

    Pristine environment – are you serious. Refer to above point.

    Family focussed village – hardly, just another tourist trap with overpriced stores and nimby residents

    Was 23m now 36m – That demonstrates the business core values and brand aspirations. Very positive outlook

    Immense industrial buildings – pretty much the same as the chook sheds that were on Ewingsdale Rd or are still on Myocum Rd. Hang on a minute…didn’t you nimby lot protest their removal from Ewingsdale Rd??

    So you have an average of 900 signatures – less than 20% of the regional area in which the development may provide a benefit.

    Closely connected to the rural community – The rural community in Bangalow are mostly the Williams and Akubra wearing crowd from Sydney who own all the land but farm nothing. I guess if they have tractor it means their farmers.

    Responsibility – Is to yourself and your family only. Stay out of other people lives and business

    Oh wont someone think of the children….. They’ll need a job too someday or will yours stay on the teat and be isolated from reality forever.

  3. Hi Bernard

    Could you please explain how the traffic will go around the town? Granuille Road is residential. Also just wondering where you live?

  4. Crikey you have rattled a cage here Simon… what an ugly bitter diatribe from Bernard.
    It suggests that he is someone very closely associated with the proposed massive factory development.
    A generous insight into how our village, farmland and community are regarded by people like Bernard who seem inclined to screw it over.
    He must be really worried and the proposed family farm and 2479 community spruiking tenant must be shuddering at this branding association.
    Not a beautiful look at all.
    Bernard’s generosity has raised just one positive though and thats the chook sheds on Ewingsdale Road.
    The old Sunnybrand Chicken site has a DA in to change its use to Multiple Uses including Agricultural Processing Industry, Transport Depot, Recreation Facility and Warehouse or Distribution Centre – Byron Bay Business Park.
    The timing is perfect and its an ideal location for the proposed food factories.
    This wasn’t an option when the original DA was submitted.
    So if Byron Council want this in our shire they now have the location and just 15 minutes down the Pacific Highway from Bangalow we also have the perfect area endorsed by the North Coast Regional Plan.
    No traffic through the village or even around the village Bernard and thanks again for the heads up on Ewingsdale Road.
    Submissions close tomorrow Wednesday the 2nd at 4:00 PM.
    Plenty of time to lodge your objection online.

  5. Haha, thanks for the laugh Bernard. Typical cliches, Bernard? What does that mean? Balance and accuracy while you support the most inaccurate DA. Large majority in favour of this development? Really? What, a large majority of the developer’s friends?
    Family wealth creation, Bernie? Yeah, your family, STUFF everyone else.
    Where do you get your figures from, Bernie?
    Very nice of you to slag off the very same “Social Brand ” that these companies are hoping to benefit from, exploiting Bangalow’s good name.
    Traffic will go around Bangalow???? What along Friday hut road? There are no roads “around” Bangalow. Do you even know where Bangalow is?
    Yes, Bertie, a cow paddock IS rural farmland. It’s hardly city land, is it? It is true that not much of this land is being used for farming. Sadly too many GREEDY developers, backed by big bucks from the city, are buying our farmland in an attempt to make massive profits.
    Have You, Bertie, actually seen Byron Creek up close? It is full of life.
    If you think Bangalow is not a family village, then you have never been there. Please educate yourself about the people of Bangalow before making assumptions.
    $23m now $36m actually demonstrates the clumsy and inaccurate costings by the developer and his planner.
    Immense buildings? Yes they are!!!! I don’t recall Bangalow, or anyone else protesting the removal of the Sunnybrand sheds. Maybe the loss of jobs, but not the ugly building. BTW, Sunnybrand was minute compared to what you are proposing.
    Less than 20% of what regional area Bertie? Specifics please. I’m glad you said “MAY benefit “because the benefits to Bangalow are extremely dubious.
    Now you’ve got me with the boots Baertie. I must confess I do have a pair of RMs. They are 39 years old. Sorry, no akubra, or Stetson for that matter. I do know some blokes that wear them, but they’re not from Sydney. They are born and bred Bangaloids, and, yes they do live and work on farms. I, however, am from the Western Suburbs of Sydney, but sorry no tractor Bretie.
    Responsibility Bratie? Stay out of other peoples villages. Go Sh*t on your own doorstep!
    Oh, here we go, the call of every developer trying to push crap proposals onto someone else “jobs for our kids”. We’ve heard it all before, and it doesn’t wash.
    Cheers Bernard, is that your real name?

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