AWARD-WINNING cheese is what Barry Lillywhite is internationally renowned for and he has been making it at the Charles Sturt University cheese factory for the past 13 years.
So when he was told the university would be unlikely to renew his contract in October he wanted to do all he could to keep his passion of making his famous cheese alive.
Mr Lillywhite said he was dependent on the university selling him the equipment it no longer needed once the factory is closed so he can open up a new factory in the region and continue trading under his business Wagga Cheese Company.
He said he had trusted the university would sell him the equipment based on discussions which were in good faith and he felt betrayed that this may no longer be the case.
"I've been staying up until 2am every night working on this business plan which is dependent on me having this equipment to start up a new factory," he said.
"We've set up for an extra employee to come from South Australia and we were about to buy a factory.
"Now it's like we've wasted all this time."
Executive director of the university's division of finance, Paul Dowler, confirmed he had entered into discussions about the equipment.
He said it was something that the university would consider when selling the equipment and acknowledged continuing the cheese tradition in the Riverina would be beneficial to the region although this was not the main concern of his department.
"There's some equipment which we require and therefore won't be sold," he said.
"We do have a process which we need to adhere to and being a government-funded body it is a requirement to do that.
"But we are trying to work proactively with Mr Lillywhite."
Mr Dowler confirmed he had seen a scrap metal merchant to find out the value of the stainless steel in the factory, but he would not divulge the reasons behind why he needed to do this.