This week's Bell Bay major projects conference shows just how far the region has come, says Susie Bower. About 130 delegates attended the two-day event, which analysed the site's potential for new industry. Ms Bower, Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone's chief officer, said interest in the inaugural conference had been encouraging. "I've been in the role six years, but two years into my role we were looking at a closure," Ms Bower said. "South 32 was a possible closure in Bell Bay and then GFG came in and bought it and saved it. "Four years later we've got enough projects to have a two-day conference, which just goes to show how far we've come in those four years and what the interest is now in Bell Bay." ECKA Granules Australia's Stephen Fox recently returned to Bell Bay after spending 20 years working in Western Australia. Mr Fox said he was keen to see new projects take place in the region, but was keeping an attitude of "tempered positivity". "You can't get too excited because history shows not everything gets the green light for whatever reason," he said. "Environmental or financial - not everything comes to fruition. "But with so many different projects and the support from general industry and there's government representatives here ... there does seem to be a very positive feel, and these types of events do propel that." The conference was held at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Launceston.