Ballina Greens councillor Jeff Johnson wants to move a proposed Aboriginal childcare centre in the shire from its current planned location – and says he has the approval of local Aboriginal elders.
Cr Jonson has lodged a motion calling on council to hold discussions with both state and federal MPs to seek an extension on the delivery timeframe for the proposed centre.
He says the planned location – Porter Park – is too small and is on a blind corner of a narrow residential street.
‘Porter Park should never have been on the shortlist. It is not an appropriate location for a development of this scale.’
Cr Jonson says the Local Reference Group (LRG) had originally nominated Treelands Reserve as its preferred location.
‘Council should admit that it got it wrong and reconsider alternative locations,’ he said this morning.
‘I’m concerned about the loss of a sportsfield, the amenity of the area, and the safety to both residents and children who would use the centre.
‘On the other hand Treelands Reserve is in a central location and next to the Ballina Community Centre. Furthermore, it has always been earmarked for community facilities, and is configured in such a way as to make it unsuitable for most sport or recreational activities.
‘Now is the last chance the council has to admit it got it wrong and make amends. Let’s be proud of this new centre and get the location right.’