What do former ‘King of the Cross’ John Ibrahim, Gold Coast party boy Travers Beynon, aka, the Candyman, and north coast property developer Bart Elias all have in common?
Their names have all been linked this week to major investments in the region, including a macadamia farm on the outskirts of Newybar and the proposed food-hub at Bangalow.
In a story that has set local tongues wagging, the Sydney Morning Herald has reported that Pacific Blue Property Holdings, controlled by Mr Ibrahim’s financial controller Margaret Staltaro, paid $1.45 million for a macadamia nut farm on Hinterland Way, Newrybar last year.
Mr Ibrahim’s family are currently the subject of an Australian Federal Police investigation into drug and tobacco importation
Meanwhile, just up the road, Ibrahim’s property developer friend Bart Elias is linked to the controversial $20 million dollar food hub development on the outskirts of Bangalow, which the Byron Shire Council recently decided it would not support.
The food hub development will be discussed at a joint regional planning panel in Bangalow on Thursday.
The panel will be held from 4.30pm at the Mullumbimby Council Chambers and will be chaired by former Nationals MP Garry West.
As the estimated value exceeds $20m, Byron council will not be the determining authority and instead the proposal will be decided by the JRPP.
The ten ‘independent’JRPP’s across the state have an almost 100 per cent approval record – for more information visit www.planningpanels.nsw.gov.au.
The floor area proposed is 21,400m2, and would include three 5,000 square metre ‘Rural (Agricultural)’ industrial buildings which, ‘can be doubled in size to 10,000 square metres in later stages.’
Three rural industry buildings of 800 square metres are also proposed, as is a 1,000 square metre ‘food excellence facility’ which would house a restaurant/ take away cafe.
The day after Thursday’s hearing, Mr Elias will front Ballina Local Court over driving offences and an apprehended violence order linked to his divorce. He has pleaded not guilty.
And while he has been the face of the proposed Bangalow food hub, the company behind the development is owned and controlled by Allan Abraham, Mr Elias’ brother’s brother-in-law, and a Byron Bay tobacco store franchisee.
Mr Abraham’s FreeChoice store comes under the umbrella of the FreeChoice chain, controlled by the family of Mr Beynon, a prominent Gold Coast playboy known as the Candyman because of his lavish lifestyle.