The good side of camphor
CAMPHOR laurel - the large green shade trees introduced from Asia more than 100 years ago - have already taken over much of the old dairy pasture on the NSW North Coast.
Now they have even taken over the Murwillumbah store once run by the dairy farmers' co-operative, Norco.
Massive cuts of camphor laurel - considered a great wood for furniture manufacture - have been moved into the old Norco Rural Store which has become the headquarters of a local artisans co-operative dedicated to making good use of a plant now widely considered an outof-control weed.
The group, headed by Murwillumbah's 'King Camphor' Bill Marshall, is the first going concern to move into a redevelopment of the site being undertaken by Bilambil-based entrepreneur Bruce Campbell, which is intended to include a arts and craft-based shopping centre.
The centre, to be called the Riverside Heritage Markets, also involves a redevelopment of the adjacent former Norco Milk Depot.
Mr Campbell said yesterday the three-yearold co-operative, AARTEC for short (because it's a lot easier to say than Australian Allied Artisan Resource Talent Enviro-Management Co-operative) hoped to hold a major opening day soon.
Camphor laurel sits among crafted woodworks and furniture made from a number of other timbers, such as red cedar, in the new showroom.
Leather worker Rikc Burnell, said a wide range of local craft products would later go on display and sale.