DIVIDES OPINION: Part of the Bangalow Rural Industries Food Precinct DA showing the acoustic and visual barriers on the western side of the facility.
DIVIDES OPINION: Part of the Bangalow Rural Industries Food Precinct DA showing the acoustic and visual barriers on the western side of the facility. Contributed

Casino eyes off $37 million industrial food hub

A $37 MILLION rural industries food hub earmarked for Bangalow has sparked interest in Casino.

The key feature of the food hub is three 5000sqm buildings which can be doubled in size to 10,000sqm.

There is also a 3000sqm building, and four smaller buildings between 800-1000sqm.

Proposed tenants for the hub are Brookfarm and Salumi, who have called it an "amazing opportunity".

But critics of the development have come out in force since the application's submission and at an earlier meeting with the Joint Regional Planning Panel, presenting a united front against it.

This is echoed by Ballina MP Tamara Smith and Byron Mayor Simon Richardson, both Greens, who have also spoken out against the 20-acre industrial food processing facility.

Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW, Ben Franklin, recently said it should be built in another shire, not at Bangalow.

Mr Franklin said he had received "overwhelming negative feedback from the community" and noted the size of the project was "not in line with community expectations".

"For me, there are just too many concerns about the potential impact on the local environment, extra traffic, and the general impact on the local community for it to be supported," he said.

However Mr Franklin said he "strongly supported" the development of a food precinct on the Northern Rivers.

And it seems Richmond Valley Council is one step ahead.

At a council meeting this week, general manager Vaughan Macdonald said he had his sights set on the food hub.

During the meeting Councillor Daniel Simpson congratulated Mr Macdonald on securing the cannabis facility and mentioned the potential of the industrial food hub for Casino.

Cr Simpson said these type of developments were great and told Mr Macdonald to "go after it if you can", to which he replied: "I am happy to report I contacted them about a month ago".

Mr Macdonald said the council was not in the business of pinching neighbouring councils' businesses, but would be interested in the development if the Byron Shire didn't want it.

"If we see other areas are hesitant, we are willing to have discussions about future potential," he said.

"If it didn't happen to work out in Bangalow we would be happy to discuss opportunities in Richmond Valley if it suited them.

"At the time of the phone call they were still looking at Bangalow, but it was more to let them know."



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