BEGA spells 'cheese'
Until the 1950s, the agricultural regions of the NSW south coast were not linked by useable roads, because of the tangle of foothills extending from the Great Dividing Range to the coast. The area is good for dairying, but milk could not be taken to major markets because of the lack of daily transport – the only transport was by small coastal steamers. The answer was to turn the milk into more easily stored cheese or, to a lesser extent, into butter.
The district had numerous cheese factories during the 1920s, as is shown by the pins on the map in the photo. Over the years, with improving roads, the industry consolidated at the Bega cheese factory which is still proudly operating as a locally owned co-operative of dairy farmers. It is one of Australia's major cheese producers and also exports, mainly to SE Asia.
Bega, with a population of about 4500, is the main commercial centre in the far southeast coast area of NSW. It remains a centre for local industry, rather than a tourist destination. In the photo of the chart, the areas shaded in either green or grey are State Forests and National Parks: timber also is an important industry.