Norco’s Lismore factory reopens following extensive flood damage

Norco’s Lismore ice-cream factory is welcoming back its 130 employees following an 18-month and $100 million recovery process.

The factory, which produces approximately 42 million litres of ice cream per year, suffered significant damage from the 2022 Lismore floods but has now reopened featuring flood-proof design and technologies that have equipped the site to defend a 15-metre flood – higher than the 2022 levels. 

Michael Hampson, CEO at Norco, said it’s been a challenging period for their co-operative, but they certainly wouldn’t be standing here today without all of their hard work, commitment, and belief in the vision for Norco.

“We understand just how important the factory is to our workforce and the Lismore community and will remain future-focused on continuing to create opportunities for the region, maintaining a strong focus on innovation, jobs creation and investment in people, to create exciting career development pathways from right here in Lismore.”

Over $40 million in funding from the Australian and NSW governments contributed to the factory’s recovery process, allowing the

“I’d also like to express my sincere gratitude to both the Australian and NSW Governments who facilitated the Anchor Business Support Program, and delivered the funding which has enabled us to rebuild in a way that has modernised our operations and introduce product innovations and technology that will help cement the Northern Rivers of NSW and its thriving ‘food belt’ as a food innovation, centre of excellence,” said Hampson.

Tara Moriarty, NSW Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Regional NSW, said the reopening of the Norco ice cream factory marks a huge milestone in the flood recovery efforts for the Northern Rivers.

“As one of the biggest employers in the region, we know how important it is to invest in projects that deliver resilient infrastructure in regional communities so people can stay in jobs and the economy can thrive.

“Our shared goal with the 100 per cent Australian dairy farmer owned Norco, is that in the event of any future flooding event, this investment in the rebuilt ice cream factory has ensured the business will be able to get back into action quicker.”

Currently, the town has a 70.1 per cent occupancy rate across the inner CBD areas, a 10 per cent increase from January 2023 figures and is getting closer to its pre-disaster rates of 90.2 per cent.

Steve Krieg, Lismore Mayor, said the data is a clear demonstration of business confidence in the future of Lismore, which will be boosted by the reopening of the Norco ice cream factory.

“Today is a great day for Norco, its workforce, our community, and the many small and medium businesses in the region who will ultimately benefit from this facility being back up and running, stronger and better than ever.

“The spirit of Lismore is as strong as ever, and like so many of our rebuild and recovery stories, today’s celebration is proof that from tragedy can come triumph, while sending a very clear signal that Lismore is well and truly back in business.”

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