Northern Star Photographer Jay Cronan flys from Lismore to Lennox, then to head south along the coast in the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter to take aerial photographs of the Northern Rivers.  Richmond River, Ballina Bar Emigrant Creek Pacific High way Teven Interchange. Photo Jay Cronan / The Northern Star
Northern Star Photographer Jay Cronan flys from Lismore to Lennox, then to head south along the coast in the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter to take aerial photographs of the Northern Rivers. Richmond River, Ballina Bar Emigrant Creek Pacific High way Teven Interchange. Photo Jay Cronan / The Northern Star Jay Cronan

EXCLUSIVE: Beef barons behind $41m play haven

ONE of Australia's richest families is believed to be behind plans for a $41 million private play haven at South Ballina.

Ringtank Pty Ltd, the company that lodged the development application to Ballina Shire Council before Christmas, is owned by the Menegazzo family - owners of the Stanbroke Group cattle empire in Queensland.

A go-kart track, helipad, shooting range, motocross track and polo field are earmarked in the grand plans for the prime beachfront land along Carrs Ln, Empire Vale Rd and Reedy Creek Rd at Keith Hall.

Land and Property Information NSW confirmed Ringtank Pty Ltd purchased land over a period of months from April to September in 2005.

 

A development application containing plans for a $41 million \
A development application containing plans for a $41 million \"family eco-recreational\" facility at Empire Vale near Ballina. Ringtank Pty Ltd

Planning for the massive complex dates back more than 10 years.

Ballina Shire Council town planner, Rod Willis said archived Ballina Shire Council meeting minutes between 2007 and 2008 revealed preliminary work executed by Ringtank.

Mr Willis said the planning enabled the company to identify where houses may be built on the parcels of land owned.

RELATED: $41 million plans for go-kart track, helipad

As for impacts on the Ballina community, Mr Willis said the exclusive use of the facilities don't classify it as a major development for the shire.

"If it was for a commercial tourist attract with all of these facilities yes it would be a major development," Mr Willis said.

 

Artist impression of facilities at a proposed $40 million development at Empire Vale.
Artist impression of facilities at a proposed $40 million development at Empire Vale. Contributed

"On face value, because its for a private extended family use with no commercial intention then it's a very different creature for the impact it's going to have on infrastructure, and the community and the roads and traffic."

Mr Willis noted a real positive about the development application with strategies in place to restore the coastal habitat, which has been impacted by "history of sand mining and farming and inappropriate species being put in to stop erosion".

"They have pretty complex and comprehensive proposals to rehabilitate the environment down there (in South Ballina)," Mr Willis said.

 

Artist impression of facilities at a proposed $40 million development at Empire Vale.
Artist impression of facilities at a proposed $40 million development at Empire Vale. Contributed

"I think, environmentally, the restoration of 4km of beach front and the flora and fauna is a positive."

Mr Willis predicts the development application will be placed on public exhibition by the council by the end of this month or early February.

The exclusive construction is mooted to be billed at as much as $43 million, according to Mr Willis.

 

Artist impression of facilities at a proposed $40 million development at Empire Vale.
Artist impression of facilities at a proposed $40 million development at Empire Vale. Contributed


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