Plans to build an 8000-seat indoor concert venue are dead in the water after a unanimous council vote on Monday night.
The widely-supported Bomen Entertainment Complex, which would have seen the former Riverina Woolcombing Plant transformed into a venue for concerts, trade shows and music festivals, hinged on rezoning part of the land on Byrnes Road.
However, neighbouring heavy industry strongly opposed the plans and representatives from Teys and battery recycling firm Enirgi told councillors the rezoning would have a massive impact on future growth and investment.
Anthony Deal from Enirigi said the company intended to close its Sydney processing centre and move operations to Wagga next year, but that would not be possible if the entertainment complex was allowed to go ahead.
“The Bomen plant employs 75 people and has contributed approximately $100 million to the local economy,” Mr Deal said. “The decision to build at Bomen was made in light of council’s strategic plan to maintain a purely industrial precinct. If the land was rezoned, the founders would never have signed on.”
Councillor Dan Hayes said the idea of an entertainment centre had merit, but the location was all wrong, while Cr Paul Funnell warned it could be a repeat of earlier zoning decisions that had caused problems for decades.
Former mayor Rod Kendall was more direct in his opposition to the zoning request: “Quite frankly what we’ve heard tonight is that it’s totally incompatible with existing land uses,” he said.