THE western Riverina town of Hay could be known as the milk-powder capital of Australia if a new business venture gets up.
It's the latest attempt to re-invent the district's Ravensworth Station, which has had a chequered history.
The station, about 60km west of Hay on the Sturt Highway, has in the past two decades played home to a massive feedlot and in the 1990s was also the base for failed US farmer Charles Schindler, who left town allegedly owing local businesses up to $1 million.
But The Weekly Times understands investors are being wooed to fund a milk powder plant.
Approval has already been given to run more than 40,000 dairy cattle on the station but the project would see the milk produce processed on site.
Hay Shire Council is aware of the project and general manager Allen Dwyer said it would be a good thing for the area.
"The last we heard was that there was Indian interest in the project, and we support it 110 per cent," Mr Dwyer said.
He said the demand from China and India for milk powder "seems to be insatiable".
Mr Dwyer said he had seen a business plan for the project about 12 months ago.
He said there would be few issues standing in the way of the project if funding were found.
"Projects like these can generate issues when it comes to pollution or transport or people," he said. "But they are on a big station, so people should not be an issue, and they are on a major road, so transport is not an issue."
Mr Dwyer said the property had access to large volumes of ground water, which would allow for big numbers of cows and feed.
And while dairying was not normally associated with the western Riverina, Mr Dwyer said the district was changing.
"There was the sale of Uardry (Merino stud) which is a chunk of history gone," he said.
"Cotton is being grown more and more around Hay too, and the potential is there in the Hay district to do a lot of things."