Stop at Sugartown for a sweet visit
IN 2020 when the Pacific Highway is diverted around Broadwater, the village, like many others, will need to find reasons to entice motorists and tourists to stop at Sugartown.
The Broadwater Sugar Mill could be the solution. The factory dominates the skyline with its two funnels puffing out steam in the early hours of the morning.
The 1889 factory employs 120 people.
When Sunshine Sugar operations manager David Wood sees someone in the the supermarket selecting their sugar, he watches.
One time, an elderly lady picked up a bag of CSR sugar. Excuse me, he said, why did you choose that bag of sugar? Because it's Australian, she said.
It bugs him that people think CSR is Australian-owned.
"It is owned by a Singapore company," Mr Wood said.
Sunshine Sugar is the only 100% Australian-owned sugar manufacturer and employs 400 in its mills in Condong and Harwood.
Sugar currently trades at $4.80 a tonne and is influenced by the world sugar market and crops in Brazil, India and Thailand.
In the quiet village of 450 residents, the growing trend of tourists seeking paddock-to-plate experiences could make sugar factory tours a key to the town's future.
"We used to do tours," Mr Wood said. "But we don't make any money and it's a headache."
Residents remember visiting the factory as children.
Currently only school groups and community groups can arrange visits to the factory.
Broadwater resident and Bypass Action Group member Fiona Reddoch said the community would like to see tours at the mill.
"The town is united in what it wants and the list includes a pontoon, parks, a lookout and a picnic ground," Ms Reddoch said.