Southern Cross Botanicals has lodged a DA for an expansion of their Knockrow facility.
Southern Cross Botanicals has lodged a DA for an expansion of their Knockrow facility.

Local botanicals used for international cosmetics industry

A NATURAL extracts company which supplies "high grade" products to the international cosmetics industry has revealed plans for expansion.

Southern Cross Botanicals has been processing plant biomass grown at its site on the Hinterland Way at Knockrow for the past 18 years.

Plants such as lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle, lilly pilly, lemon-scented tea tree, riberry, lemon aspen, bush plum, melaleuca, eucalyptus, euodia, kunzea, banksia, grevillea and kangaroo paw are grown at the property.

After the "high tech" processing is complete, the extracts are sold as wholesale ingredients.

Southern Cross Botanicals is part of the Lucas Meyer Cosmetics Group.

Until recently the business only used produce grown on site, but a DA was approved in 2016 to enable the existing processing facility to process some plant materials sourced from offsite.

Town planners Newton Denny Chapelle, in documents lodged with Ballina Shire Council as part of a new DA, explained the 2016 DA had "foreshadowed a substantial expansion of plantings on the lower parts of the property in the short to medium term".

"Due to a change in the ownership and management structure within SCB, such expansion is currently on hold," the report states.

"Our clients wish to be able to process raw materials (plant matter) grown offsite."

The DA currently being considered by the council which is on public exhibition until October 8 is for a second shed on Southern Cross Botanicals' 71ha Knockrow property, at a cost of $266,000.

"The business currently rents warehouse space within an existing industrial area to store raw materials, packaging and final product," the DA report states.

"The current application seeks to provide onsite storage space rather than rely on offsite facilities.

"Development approvals for the site largely involve processing materials grown on site.

"The current application proposes that almost all processing will involve raw materials (plant matter) sourced from off site.

"Raw materials will primarily involve foliage, seeds and fruits sourced from various farms in Ballina Shire and the Northern Rivers.

"A proportion of 'specialist' raw materials will also be sourced from other parts of New South Wales and, on occasion, Queensland.

"Our clients advise that part of the reason for the construction of the shed is aimed at providing continuity of supply of plant extracts throughout the year.

"For example, raw material can be harvested at 'peak season' and then stored for processing at another time of the year.

"It will also reduce current inefficiencies associated with having an offsite storage facility."